He’s not the best swimmer – which is even an understatement – but he is on the other hand one of the best bikers and runners out there: Sam Long did his trick again today during the second and third discipline and claimed the victory at Ironman 70.3 Gdynia. He shared the podium with Slovakia’s Richard Varga (+4:10) and Germany’s Fabian Reuter (+4:31), who took second and third respectively.
After the swim, Long was outside the top ten and at a 3:25-minute deficit. No surprise, it was Varga who was first out of the water after 21:49 minutes, followed by Germany’s Jan Stratmann (+0:30) and then a group of seven athletes. Within 45K, Long had closed the gap to the first men, and was now leading the race on the bike. Varga followed right in his footsteps once Long racked his bike back in T2, while Stratmann was about two minutes behind these two athletes.
On the run, Varga couldn’t keep up with Long. In 5 km, Long had run nearly two minutes away from his chaser. Stratmann was running strong, starting to be a threat to Varga, but it was soon clear that nobody was getting in between Long and the gold anymore. Running 1:09:31 hour Long celebrated his victory, Varga kept Stratmann and a fast-approaching Reuter off to take silver, Reuter claimed bronze and Stratmann struggled in the final stretch and therefor didn’t make the top three anymore.