He’s the man of the hour: after winning Clash Miami and running to a big victory at Challenge Puerto Varas, Sam Long could be considered an absolute race favorite for Saturday’s Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. After traveling to Florida and Chile in the past few weeks, he’s unsure whether it would be smart to start, though. A decision that not every athlete openly shares, but Long decided to lay his cards on the table, as he explains he still doesn’t know what he will be doing the upcoming weekend.
“I know I said I was likely not going to do Oceanside, that does remain true, but yes: I have a small hope of doing the race”, Long says about the event. “A lot of people asked me if I was doing it or not. I promise: I’m not trying to lie to people – I actually do not know myself. The travel has been a little hard. I’m still waiting to see if the body comes around. I’m waiting on that, and then I’ll make a decision.”
With Lionel Sanders heading to Oceanside, just like Alistair Brownlee and many other star athletes, there is a nice field to provide Long with a challenge. Earlier this week, Long explained he will remain focused on Middle Distance racing this year, with an exception for Challenge Roth and the Ironman world championship in St. George on May 7. With only a little more than one month to go until St. George – an absolute highlight on his race program – Long needs to decide whether it’s possible to add in another Middle Distance race.
“Coming off a double win in nine days is no doubt hard”, Long stated. “I pour my heart and soul into the preparation and race. The high on race day is such a great feeling. The low after comes both mentally and energetically. Finally, coming out of all those feelings and starting to get going again.” Long clearly struggled to find his rhythm again after racing – and winning – Clash Miami (Mar. 11) and Challenge Puerto Varas (Mar. 20).