TRI247
Search
shop

‘Dude is legit’: Lionel Sanders says Iden the man to beat for years to come

Lionel Sanders heaped praise on Gustav Iden after IRONMAN Florida, saying the Norwegian will be the man to beat for many many years.

Editor-In-Chief
Last updated -
SHOP

Lionel Sanders didn’t need to race at IRONMAN Florida on Saturday, but he had one very special reason for doing so – he wanted to be there on the day Gustav Iden did his first Ironman.

The 33-year-old Canadian had already wrapped up spots for next year’s two IRONMAN World Championship races in St George (May) and Kona (October). The lure and “privilege” of racing Iden on his full-distance debut though was too big to turn down.

In the end the pair produced a great battle, racing together until around 17 miles into a blistering marathon. Then Iden pulled clear as Sanders slowed, and claimed a convincing victory by just under six minutes.

Both men delivered great run times – Iden an eye-popping 2:34:51 on his full-distance debut, Sanders a 2:40:43. Gustav also broke the race record time of 7:46:28 set by Joe Skipper in 2019, clocking 7:42:57.

Afterwards Sanders, now coached like Gustav by Iden’s brother Mikal, paid tribute to his rival – saying “dude is legit” – and reflected on “a great battle”.

Advertisement

Sanders ‘thought he had’ Iden

He said: “I was all in, I was going for the win and I was either gonna win or I was gonna walk the second half and I went for it, I didn’t walk the second half but I also didn’t win.

“It was a great battle, this guy is tough as nails and to be honest with you, I thought I had him. I thought I had you Gustav, were you faking me? Were you faking me a little bit?

“This guy is moaning and groaning for the first 10 miles, I was like ‘this guy’s gonna drop in two seconds’ – no, it didn’t happen.”

It absolutely didn’t happen, and post-race Sanders lavished high praise on the two-time 70.3 World Champion.

“I wanted to see Gustav first-hand, I didn’t really need to come – I have my Kona spot, I’ve got my St George spot. But I could not miss the opportunity to race this guy – this is the guy who we’re going to be racing for many many years to come. I don’t know why he wants to do ITU – I don’t get it.

Gustav the one to beat now

“This is definitely the guy who is going to be the one to beat for many years to come in long-course. I had the privilege to see his first one and they’re only gonna go up from here so I got a lot of work to do.”

Saturday’s race had begun with challenging conditions for the swim, and without that Iden and Sanders would have gone even faster.

Lionel admitted: “Tough day out there so congrats to everyone who started and finished! If you didn’t make the swim cutoff, props to you as well, that was probably the hardest swim of my professional career!”

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
Sumarpo vanguard vs Zone 3 Vanquish X triathlon wetsuits
ZONE3 Vanquish X wetsuit vs Sumarpo Vanguard wetsuit – how do these triathlon wetsuits match up?
Essential Beginner's Triathlon Gear & KIt
Triathlon gear for beginners: essential kit for getting started
open water swimming Sumarpo wetsuit
How to improve swimming endurance – PRO tips to help you swim further in open water
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Wetsuit buying guide – How to choose the best wetsuit for triathlon, open water swimming, SwimRun and cold water
Aviles Duathlon
What is a duathlon? Beginner’s guide to distances, training plans and kit
latest News
Alex Yee WTCS Pontevedra 2023
Olympic Games triathlon: British gold medal favourite Alex Yee warms up for Paris 2024 with another win
Hannah Berry took the win at IRONMAN Cairns in Queensland,
IRONMAN Cairns 2024 Results: Burton and Berry take Asia-Pacific titles as Skipper misses podium
Lucy Charles-Barclay wins IRONMAN France 2024
IRONMAN France 2024 results: Lucy Charles-Barclay validates World Championship spot with CRAZY run
Gustav Iden Kona athlete sign in 2022 photo credit Donald Miralle for IRONMAN
Gustav Iden shares heartfelt message after major milestone on the journey back to the top
Sam Long celebrates at the San Francisco T100.
Sam Long targeting two major T100 races after season break to resolve personal problems
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
GET RACE READY - SHOP WITH SBRX
GET RACE READY - BUY WITH SBRX
Share to...