T100 World Tour

“I don’t have answers” – Lionel Sanders on Coeur d’Alene woe

Lionel Sanders was searching for answers on Sunday night after the frustration of seeing nutrition issues ruin his chances of victory at IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene.

Last updated -
T100 Triathlon World Tour
Redefining triathlon

Lionel Sanders was left feeling “a little defeated and frustrated” as he started to search for answers on Sunday night after problems with nutrition ruined his chances of victory at IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene 2021.

The Canadian superstar’s expected duel with American Sam Long appeared to be very much on when the pair were shoulder to shoulder nine miles into the marathon in searing temperatures in Idaho.

Sanders though then began to throw out distress signals, falling back before struggling to get across the finish line during a tortuous end to the race.

Afterwards he spoke to his 211,000 Instagram followers, saying he was “frustrated” by what had happened, but as yet doesn’t have answers.

Sanders Coeur d’Alene prep best ever

He said: “Admittedly today was very frustrating. I prepared I would say some of the best, probably the best IRONMAN preparation I’ve ever done and the most consistent.

“No overtraining, just very good quality, team agreed, I even practised nutrition, everything, and I seem to be struggling with the fourth discipline right now of nutrition and I don’t have answers for whatever reason.

“I got really weak at about six-and-a-half hours and started to lose muscle function and started to cramp up and honestly I spent the final five miles actually wondering if I was gonna be able to finish because I was having trouble walking, and I was having trouble holding my own torso up for whatever reason.

“And so that’s something I am obviously going to continue to stew on and it’s just really really frustrating when you devote your life to something and you do a good job too – I can’t even get mad at myself because I did a really good job to the best of my knowledge and it failed.”

Sanders, well known for his ‘No Limits’ mantra which has endeared him to so many fans around the world, also took time out to hit back at one fan who mocked his struggles on social media.

He said: “For whatever reason, someone showed me a picture of myself walking and someone put the tagline under it ‘Limits’ and all I have to say, I do wanna address that, because it bothers me a little bit. And all I have to say to that person is you truly do not get it.

“You do not get what ‘No Limits’ means. ‘No Limits’ is when literally every thread of your body is screaming ‘drop out, you need to drop out’, and not accepting that and saying finish what you started unless you lose consciousness. That’s the only way you will not finish what you started, and that’s what ‘No Limits’ is, and I did that today and I will continue to do that.

“‘No Limits’ as well is also in my mind, I’m like: ‘I’m damn well retiring from this stuff’ but I’m not actually going to, I’m not gonna listen to that. I am going to fix this, I have it in me, that is nowhere near where my ability is. I’m just not expressing it for whatever reason, and that’s ‘No Limits’ as well – obviously we have biological limitations, this has absolutely nothing to do with what ‘No Limits’ is.”


Long is the future – Lionel Sanders

Once Sanders had dealt with his own struggles, he again showed his class by congratulating victor Long on a dominant win, explaining: “A big congratulations to Sam Long, really great guy, I love Sam.

“Hard worker, nobody deserves that win more than him, soak it in man, this guy is the future and it’s only gonna get better. And also big congrats to Justin Metzler and Pedro Gomes, who both had very good performances as well.”

Lionel also praised the crowds who lined the Coeur d’Alene course, admitting that their support was what enabled him to get over the finish line.

“I just have to give a very sincere thank you to everybody out on course. You were the ones who got me through that. I did not wanna do that but you guys cheering for me, I ran with people, they motivated me, told me stories, it was amazing – I felt the IRONMAN love, I felt the ‘No Limits’ vibe and I wanna thank you guys for that.”

Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
Discover more
TRI-FIT Geo Coral women's tri suit
TRI-FIT GEO Women’s Tri Suit Review – How does it fare in our quest for the ultimate long course kit?
TRI-FIT women's sleeveless tri suit
5 race day mistakes that are sabotaging your triathlon times (and how to fix them)
Kate Auld riding on an indoor trainer
Rouvy vs Zwift: our indoor cyclists put them to the test
Professional triathletes on the bike course at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam
Fastest triathlon courses: Best IRONMAN, long course and middle distance races for a sure-fire personal best
Patagonman swim start
6 tips for taking on an Xtreme triathlon from a PATAGONMAN champion
latest News
RaceRanger installation PTO European Open 2023 Ibiza
IRONMAN announce new partnership with draft detector RaceRanger for the 2024 season
Steve McKenna got the win at the 40th edition of IRONMAN New Zealand.
Australian star Steve McKenna shares emotional message after IRONMAN New Zealand win
Chelsea Sodaro takes the tape at the 2024 IRONMAN New Zealand.
Former IRONMAN World Champion delighted after bouncing back to first full distance win since Kona
World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki 2023 Gwen Jorgensen
Olympic gold medalist praises Boulder training environment ahead of WTCS season opener
Chelsea Sodaro PTO Asian Open 2023 run [Photo credit: PTO / Darren Wheeler]
IRONMAN New Zealand results: Steve McKenna and Chelsea Sodaro take the tape in Taupo
Story to tell?
Share interesting & inspirational stories with our news team
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...