Sam Long looks ahead to St George – ‘it’s how you win that matters’

News Director

“Like everyone this week, I’ve had a hard week.”

There was no other place for Sam Long to start his latest video update ahead of IRONMAN 70.3 St George this weekend as the whole triathlon world tries to make sense of the Collin Chartier doping scandal.

Chartier has been suspended for three years by the International Testing Agency (ITA) after testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition doping test on 10 February 2023 and has said he started taking the performance enhancing drug in November.

‘The win means nothing without the how’

The biggest victory of Chartier’s career came last September when he pocketed the $100,000 winner’s cheque at the PTO US Open in Dallas, beating Magnus Ditlev and Long into second and third respectively.

Collin Chartier, Magnus Ditlev, Sam Long - PTO US Open 2022
[Photo credit: PTO]

Long talks plenty about his feelings on that in the video and concludes: “Monday I was a big hot mess but then I sort of had to recalibrate myself and the moral of this story for me is that as a competitor we can get so obsessed with winning and saying that winning is all that matters.

“But the truth is it’s how you win that matters. Living your life with integrity, racing the right way – doing all of the things right. The win means nothing without the how.

“And so it’s kind of set the stage for me to just live my life as I’ve always done, with high values, setting a great example.”

Evolving landscape

Next up for Long is IRONMAN 70.3 St George, a race where he was part of a thrilling finish with Lionel Sanders in 2021, just missing out by five seconds on the win.

And of course it was also the venue last year for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, where his bid for glory was derailed by that contentious penalty on the bike.

Speaking on the video he says: “I want to go and say I’m going for redemption but I think that’s really dangerous thinking because it’s not necessarily about going as fast as I can go if I then bring others along with me.

“It’s about winning and trying to employ a strategy that lets me win, regardless of what the time is.”

Sam Long St George photo credit Tom Pennington Getty Images for IRONMAN
Sam Long at St George in 2022 [Photo credit Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN]

Up against him will again be that man Sanders: “We’ve got my boy Lionel out there, I know he is fired up.

“It’s a true North American Championship with Matt Hanson and 40 other guys there as well.”

And asked whether the quality of the field is diluted by the PTO European Open taking place in Ibiza the same day, Long reckoned: “To a point. There’s no doubt the field is better in Ibiza but I think it points out that the sport is changing. I think you also need to look to history, to what sponsors value and when you do that, St George is still an ‘A race’.

“Historically there have only been two ‘A races’ in a given year – Kona and the 70.3 World Championships. But now we’re looking at like seven ‘A races’ a year. It’s too many to race all of them.”

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