The American star enjoyed a short off-season after his last race, which was IRONMAN Maryland, where he finished third.
After a two-week break the world #10 has eased back into training and has now revealed he’ll race at Indian Wells, posting on Instagram: “Can’t Stop. Won’t. Stop. See you in 12 days.”
A year to remember
It will be Long’s 11th race of 2023, a season which saw him win three 70.3 events in succession in the summer – St George, Gulf Coast and Boulder.
It’s also been a memorable year off the race track for ‘The Big Unit’, with the arrival of his first child Leo and his engagement to Lara Gruden.
Indian Wells is the last IRONMAN-branded Pro event of the season Stateside and it’s shaping up nicely with strong start lists for both the men’s and women’s races.
Long will be up against familiar foes such as last year’s runner-up Jackson Laundry, Trevor Foley and Chris Leiferman, while 2022 70.3 Worlds runner-up Ben Kanute looks to rediscover his best middle-distance form.
And there’s an intriguing Norwegian challenge in the shape of short-distance specialists Vetle Thorn and Casper Stornes.
Jewett looking to go one better
The women’s field is headed by one of the fastest runners in the sport (only Anne Haug is ranked higher) in Canada’s Tamara Jewett.
She was second in Indian Wells last season and is up to #14 in the PTO standings after a consistent season which has seen her win twice – at 70.3 Oceanside at the start of the campaign and then 70.3 Michigan in September.
Jackie Hering chased her home in Michigan and is scheduled to reoppose in a field that’s made up entirely of Americans and Canadians bar two notable exceptions – Britain’s Jodie Stimpson and Norway’s Solveig Løvseth, who is stepping up in distance after a progressive WTCS season.