Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay to Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant victories at home soil

Lionel Sanders takes the day at Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant (picture: Talbot Cox)

Winning at home is always a bit more special for professional athletes, and in that regard Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay both experienced a wonderful day today: they just won Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant in Canada.

Things went pretty fast in the men’s race, but after the swim Sanders had quite a bit of catching up to do. His gap to the fastest swimmers – a little over a minute – was actually not too bad, but it did put him in nineteenth place, so he had a lot of men to catch up with.

He started to catch up on the bike directly and after 30 kilometers he was already in fourth place with only a leading trio in front of him: Matthew Marquardt, Justin Riele and Ben Kanute. The three Americans worked well together, but could not prevent Sanders from joining them not much later and eventually also rode with them to T2. That happened without Kanute though, because in the closing stages he lost connection and had to let the other three men go.

During the run, Sanders showed for the umpteenth time that you would rather not start the run with him at the same time, because already in the first kilometers he grabbed a lead and did not relinquish it. In a lightning-fast time of 3:35:11, he won the race. Kanute, who had run strongly to the front, was second in 3:37:29 and Marquardt was third in 3:37:32.

Women’s race also fast: Findlay on fire
The women’s race was also fast and Findlay was right on top right from the start: after the swim, actually all the favorites got out of the water more or less together, including the eventual winner. On the bike, however, the group completely fell apart and only Findlay and Ellie Salthouse remained in the lead.

Still, even Salthouse couldn’t keep up with Findlay’s high pace in the end, so she had to leave a gap. That gap got bigger and bigger and by the time Findlay returned back into T2, it took Salthouse over two minutes to start her half marathon as well. From that point on, the race was basically decided.

Findlay won the race in 4:01:00. Salthouse broke down completely in the closing stages of the half marathon and was overtaken in the last kilometers by Tamara Jewett, who finished second in 4:04:51. Salthouse finished third in 4:04:58.