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Lionel Sanders shares next step in season plan after IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside victory

Lionel Sanders (CAN) deliberates between Kona and the IRONMAN Pro Series after winning IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside.

Staff Reporter
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Despite taking a commanding victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside a fortnight ago, Lionel Sanders remains focused on his ultimate goal, winning the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.

To do this, the Windsor native may have to sacrifice his chances of winning the IRONMAN Pro Series title, something that he is keenly aware of.

Unveiling his next step this season on YouTube, the two-time IMWC runner-up will focus on two big races Stateside with the intention of securing his spot on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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“I’m on the grind for a couple of weeks”

Having missed Oceanside last year, the Tucson native’s next race at IRONMAN 70.3 St George will give him the opportunity to compare his fitness to this time last year.

lionel sanders wins oceanside 2024 [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]
Lionel Sanders takes the victory [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]

In 2023, Sanders was well beaten by Sam Long in St George and lost out on the podium to training partner Trevor Foley and Jackson Laundry.

“I’m on the grind for a couple of weeks before IRONMAN 70.3 St George, which I’m excited to do and I love, it’s one of my favourite on the circuit and I just love going to St George.

“Then we will take a little recovery before going to the wind tunnel with Canyon and doing some testing. Then, I’ll start the big build into the Ironman.” 

Kona comes first

Heading to New York in July, Sanders is set on racing IRONMAN Lake Placid to secure his qualification for the IRONMAN World Championship in October.

“I’m going to do IRONMAN Lake Placid. I’m not sure if doing two Ironmans is the right decision for me, I’m going to do Kona and for that I have to qualify, but I’m not sure if it is the right decision for me to do two Ironmans before Kona.

“I hope to have four races on my record this season, but it won’t be enough to compete for the Ironman Pro Series this season unless I do two Ironmans [in addition to Kona], so we will see as it’s a work in progress right now.” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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