Lionel Sanders shares injury update as he prepares for big race return this weekend

The PTO World #23 and five-time winner at IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant is taking every setback in his stride this season as he aims to become the best long course athlete in the world.

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Lionel Sanders will target a sixth IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant title when he lines up on home turf to contest the IRONMAN Pro Series race this weekend.

Sanders, who suffered a rib stress fracture after taking a monumental win at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside in April, is back to full health and is raring to go ahead of the clash in Quebec.

Sharing his pre-race thoughts in a video on his YouTube channel, the 36-year-old described his injury as a blessing in disguise and is feeling optimistic ahead of his return to middle-distance racing.


Mont-Tremblant memories

Incredibly familiar with every twist and turn of the course in Mont-Tremblant, Sanders will return for the 10th time to compete in Quebec and recalls his past races with mixed emotions.

Blummenfelt Sanders Currie Kona press conf 2022 photo credit Donald Miralle for IRONMAN
[Photo credit: Donald Miralle for IRONMAN]

“This is my 10th time going here, including the Ironman and the 70.3, so I would say I know the course very well, I can visualise every turn and every little hill. I’ve had some good battles here, and some bad ones.”

Giving an update on his progress after being injured, the Oceanside winner said he has been back in the pool, but doesn’t know what to expect on race day.

“I slowly eased back in [to swimming] for a week, then did a fairly normal week with no intensity, but you can’t have too many expectations on yourself.

I did have a very broad base at the beginning of the season, I know when the gun goes that I love racing, I haven’t done any hero sessions other than Oceanside and I’m excited to do one in Mont-Tremblant.

“If it’s good enough for the win, it’s good enough for the win and if it’s only good enough for 10th, it’s good for 10th.” 


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‘No Limits’ looks at bigger picture

Despite being forced to withdraw from the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship in St. George because of his injury, Sanders underlined how the setback could benefit the bigger picture.

“The season didn’t really get derailed, because I always look for the silver lining and if I’m being honest, this injury was the best thing that could have ever happened.

“Now, I’m absorbing the s*** out of this training because I’ve learned to trust what I’m feeling and it sounds pretty basic and pretty novice but I’ve proven to myself that I can train myself to the point where a bone will snap just sitting on the couch.” 

“I’ve never been the best in the world, I’m trying to be the best in the world and I’ve tried a million different things to be the best in the world and I’ve come up short, so I don’t really have the experience or knowledge of what you have to do to become the best in the world so there’s a lot of insecurity there and ignorance too.” 


Continuing to evolve

Learning from everything that comes his way, the Canadian hailed his injury as a ‘blessing’ and underlined his belief that his season will be better because of it.

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

“I’m learning a lot, I’m working with a great team and I’m learning what it takes to be the best in the world and I’m pretty confident now that what it takes to be the best in the world is not to deny yourself of what you’re feeling inside.

“That’s what can be barring you from becoming the best in the world. I think it was a blessing to get this injury and I think I’m going to be better because of the injury and this season is going to be better than it would have been had I not been injured.”

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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