Dream Relay: Ironman 70.3 Texas

Lionel Sanders and Skye Moench both lived up to their elite pedigrees as they landed imposing wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Texas.

Sanders, currently #1 in the Team Internationals rankings for the rescheduled Collins Cup, fulfilled expectations with his win while Team USA #3 Moench produced a typically impressive performance.

Sanders and Moench both finished over a minute clear as they claimed their victories, but it was their consistency across all three legs which was the backbone of their success.

Neither athlete recorded the quickest time for any of the three disciplines, but their unwavering pace throughout the race guaranteed glory.

To highlight the strengths of different athletes throughout the men’s and women’s fields in Texas, we have created a ‘Dream Relay’ for both races, made up of the quickest individuals in each discipline.

Women

Swim: Lauren Brandon (25:55)

Team USA #15 Lauren Brandon was unable to finish the race in Texas, but she set a blistering time for the swim.

Lauren has built a strong reputation for her prowess in the water, and she again came up with the goods in Texas thanks to a stunning 25:55 split.

She was more than 30 seconds clear of compatriot Rachel Olson and Team Internationals #11 Pamella Oliveira as she exited the water, completing the 1.9km leg more than three minutes quicker than eventual race winner Moench.Dream Relay: Ironman 70.3 Texas

Bike: Kimberley Morrison (2:15:58)

It was the turn of Team Europe #21 Kimberley Morrison to showcase her ability on the bike, as she scorched to the front of the field from eighth position.

Morrison set a scintillating pace over the 90km leg, clocking a 2:15:58 split as she overhauled Brandon to open up a healthy lead.

The British athlete was nearly two minutes clear of veteran Dede Griesbauer and even further ahead of Moench heading into T2.Dream Relay: Ironman 70.3 Texas

Run: Jeanni Metzler (1:15:26)

Moench set about reeling in the frontrunners on foot, forcing her way into the lead by the halfway point of the 21.1km run.

Her pace over the final leg was enough to see her clinch a well-deserved victory, but it was second-placed Jeanni Metzler who recorded the fastest time for the run.

Astonishingly, the Team Internationals #6 shaved over five minutes off Moench’s time for the leg, stopping the clock at a staggering 1:15:26.

The women’s ‘Dream Relay’ would have finished 9:38 ahead of Moench, in a time of 4:00:23Dream Relay: Ironman 70.3 Texas

Men

Swim: Ben Kanute (24:59)

Ben Kanute powered into an early lead in Texas with a phenomenal effort over the 1.9km swim.

The Team USA #6 exhibited his world-class ability in the water to clock a 24:59 and head into T1 with a 15-second lead over the chasing trio of Andre Kelly, Justin Metzler and Michael Arishata.

Kanute was more than a minute and a half quicker than race winner Sanders over the leg, with the eventual victory going into the transition in 15th position.Dream Relay: Ironman 70.3 Texas

Bike: Sam Long (1:59:57)

Sam Long and Sanders enjoyed a series of ‘King of the Mountain’ Strava battles during lockdown last year, and the pair were two of the three quickest athletes on the bike in Texas.

Sanders worked his way up the field to register a swift 2:01:44, but it was Long who clocked the quickest time over the leg as he was the only athlete to go sub-two hours.

Team USA #5 Long was well down the field after the swim, but forced himself into contention with a time of 1:59:57 for the 90km bike leg.Dream Relay: Ironman 70.3 Texas

Run: Matthew Hanson (1:09:15)

Sanders was quick to assert himself on the run, moving to the front of the pack and opening a small gap to Long.

The American fought to stay in touch but couldn’t match Sanders’ fabled speed on foot as the Canadian romped to victory.

One athlete who did manage to surpass Sanders’ pace though was Matt Hanson, who clocked a 1:09:15 split – more than two minutes faster than Sanders.

The Team USA #2 was just a handful of seconds off a podium finish as he produced a ferocious run to overtake Team Europe #8 Andreas Dreitz and Marcus Herbst to cross the line in fourth.

The men’s ‘Dream Relay’ would have been 5:20 quicker than Sanders, completing the race in a time of 3:37:00.Dream Relay: Ironman 70.3 Texas

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