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Play it again, Sam! Long back to defend his IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells title

The last US IRONMAN Pro event of the season is shaping up to be a cracker.

News Director
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Redefining triathlon

Sam Long has confirmed he will return to action when he defends his title at IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells on December 3rd.

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.

Sam Long Indian Wells 2022 Patrick McDermott Getty Images for IRONMAN
Sam Long won the race in 2022 [Photo credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

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.

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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.

Tamara Jewett IRONMAN 703 Michigan 2023 photo credit: IRONMAN
Tamara Jewett took the tape first in Michigan [Photo credit: IRONMAN}

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.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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