Sam Long credits “spectacular” crowd in St. George after taking home second successive title

Sam Long (USA) produced another mesmerizing display to take a fifth podium of the season with a brilliant victory at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship in St. George, Utah.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Sam Long was full of praise for the support he got out on course yesterday, as the American took home a second successive title at IRONMAN 70.3 St. George in a new course record.

Almost ten minutes ahead of the rest of the field, the PTO World #3 blitzed his way to a sub-2:00 bike split and promptly ran a staggering 1:10 half-marathon off the bike on his way to the win.

Recapping his race from start to finish, the 28-year-old credited both his fellow athletes and the spectators in St. George, after securing his fifth podium finish of the season.


“The age groupers were awesome”

With a deficit of three minutes out of the water, Long had a lot of catching up to do on the bike, but still spoke positively of some aspects of his swim performance.

Sam Long Triathlete United States Big Unit
Sam Long (Photo Credit: Aquasphere)

“I had a pretty good swim start, there was a lot of batting going on and sometimes I felt like I was drowning a little bit, but then I found myself in a good position and things started to settle down.

“The second half was pretty easy and then I exited with a reasonable gap, I thought I would be closer, but it was still reasonable and the age groupers were awesome cheering me on as I got out on the bike.”

“The bike was fast and ferocious”

Having to battle his way to the front of the field on the bike, Long then made his move, breaking away with German Maximilian Sperl in an effort to split under two hours for the bike leg.

“The bike was fast and ferocious and definitely hard, everyone was riding well and I guess I was riding the best, as I made progress and I thought at some point it would settle down, but it didn’t and then I did catch the front and me and Max [Sperl] got away.

“We were switching off pulls and I made sure to keep it equal. I realized I could break two hours as I got near the top of Snow Canyon, but knew I had to stay on the gas and then coming into transition, I was very process orientated when I started the run. 

The men's podium at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship 2024.
[Photo Credit – Sean Haffey Getty Images for IRONMAN]

“My goal was to execute a good run, even though I had a lead, and I was loving it out there to be honest and the finish line was just spectacular.”

With two wins, plus three second place finishes to his name already in 2024, Long looks set to chase another win next month, at the third round of the T100 Triathlon World Tour in San Francisco.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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