Heading into Ironman 70.3 Texas Canada’s Lionel Sanders was the prohibitive favorite, having won the race twice before and owning the course record from his win in 2016. That didn’t mean he was in for an easy go of things, though, as he was taking on a tough field that included many of the sport’s biggest stars. The women’s race also promised to be a competitive one, with South African defending champion Jeanni Metzler (nee Seymour) back taking on some big names like Ironman European champion Skye Moench (USA) and Kona podium finishers Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Heather Jackson (USA).
Sanders started his day off with a solid swim, coming out of the water 1:37 behind American Ben Kanute. Out on the bike course Kanute would gamely ride at the front, but Sanders quickly moved to the head of the chase pack, By the time the lead men hit T2 there were five at the front lead by American Sam Long. Joining him were Sanders, Germans Marcus Herbst and Andreas Dreitz, Great Britain’s Joe Skipper and Kanute.
Out on the run Sanders quickly moved to the front and for the first 16 km only Long was able to stay close, keeping the gap to about 30 seconds. Kanute hovered around a minute behind, with the rest of the men losing ground. With about 5 km to go Sanders started to pull clear of Long, who suddenly found himself in a battle for the runner-up position as Kanute started his charge to the finish line.
In the end there was no touching Sanders as he took his third title in Galveston, finishing in 3:42:20 after a 1:11:11 half-marathon. Kanute would catch Long in the closing meters of the race, taking second in 3:43:21 with Long just five seconds behind him (3:43:26).
Men’s results can be found here.
Moench runs to the win
Super-swimmer Lauren Brandon led the women out of the water, 41-seconds ahead of American Rachel Olson and Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira, and 1:45 up on Metzler and Crowley.
Out on the bike course, though, it was Great Britain’s Kimberly Morrison who would dominate, coming off the bike with a lead of 1:44 on American Dede Griesbauer and 2:28 on Moench, with Metzler in 10th, nine-minutes behind.
It quicly became apparent that Moench would run past Morrison, which she did by the half-way point of the half-marathon. Once she was in the lead Moench was never really threatend, although Metzler would provide some excitement with an impressive 1:15:27 run split that saw her move to second place. American Sophie Watts would round out the podium. Heather Jackson would also run past Morrison to nail fourth.
Women’s results can be found here.