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It was a big day for Canada as Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay earned the wins against tough competition at the Iroman 70.3 North American Championships in St. George, Utah.
Australia’s Sam Appleton led the men into T1, with Matt Franklin (AUS), Justin Metzler (USA), Anthony Costes (FRA), Tim Reed (AUS), and Joe Gambles (AUS) following within a few seconds. The two favorites for the race, Sanders and Germany’s Sebastian Kienle, exited the water together at just past two minutes back. Sanders and Kienle quickly found the front of the bike race. The pair entered T2 together with the next closest competitor, Appleton, following two minutes back. Sanders slowly started to break away from Kienle, with the German unable to react. Sanders used an impressive 1:11:47 half-marathon on the tough course to earn the victory and set a new course record in 3:41:11. Kienle finished second in 3:42:38, with Austria’s Michael Weiss rounding out the podium at 3:43:14.
Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira led the women out of the swim in 24:33, with Sarah True (USA), Findlay, and Meredith Kessler (USA) following within a few seconds. Despite finishing Ironman Texas just one week ago, Kessler was the strongest rider for the women. She used a 2:23:38 bike split to come into T2 with a 51-second lead over Kaye, a one-minute lead over Findlay, and then a more than three-minute lead over several others. It was evident pretty quickly that Findlay was the quick mover. She earned the lead by the four-mile mark, ultimately using a 1:23:05 half-marathon to claim the victory in 4:15:53. South Africa’s Jeannie Seymour was the fastest runner of the women (1:21:05) to finish second in 4:17:19. True was the third-place finisher, crossing at 4:17:46.
2018 Ironman 70.3 North American Championships St. George
St. George, Utah – May 5, 2018
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile swim, 13.1-mile run
1. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 3:41:11
2. Sebastian Kienle (GER) 3:42:38
3. Michael Weiss (AUT) 3:43:14
4. Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:46:51
5. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:50:25
1. Paula Findlay (CAN) 4:15:53
2. Jeannie Seymour (RSA) 4:17:19
3. Sarah True (USA) 4:17:46
4. Alicia Kaye (USA) 4:19:19
5. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:21:32
Check back for a complete photo gallery from St. George