It’s been a long brutal summer for Sam Long, and on Sunday in Tennessee he found his limits, or at least his body did.
‘The Big Unit’ was a DNF at IRONMAN Chattanooga, being forced to call it a day at around midway through the marathon after experiencing major problems. He slowed to a walk before eventually deciding that living to fight another day would be the sensible move.
Long had set the pace at the front of the field during the bike leg, before being passed by eventual winner Joe Skipper before the action moved on to the run.
The 25-year-old American, who just eight days earlier had finished second behind Gustav Iden in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, was as honest as ever when he posted on Instagram shortly after his race ended.
Sam Long reaction
“Ended up having to DNF today. My body found its limit out there on the run and rather then push through and do damage I decided to call it. I’ll have more later.”
Long was classy as ever despite his own personal pain, adding: “But for now I want to cheer on the others as they prepare to finish. I’m a believer in finishing what you start but this was different – the sensation in my body was unique (in a bad way) and I made the smart call. I don’t regret a thing and am glad I tried. Thanks for the support.”
No Sanders vs Long repeat
All the pre-race talk had been about the renewal of the Long vs Lionel Sanders rivalry – which had produced such an epic finish to IRONMAN 70.3 St George in May. That was not a factor here though as Sanders was more than eight minutes behind Skipper in second, and Long of course was forced out early.
Looking ahead to the winter, Long has said he is moving on to Arizona to work hard on his swim in the coming months. He revealed that move after the Collins Cup – where he exited the water more than four-and-a-half minutes behind Jan Frodeno and Sam Appleton.