Jackson’s Laundry just held off Lionel Sanders in a Canadian one-two in the men’s race at IRONMAN 70.3 Michigan on Sunday.
And his compatriots Tamara Jewett produced another running masterclass for a clearer victory in the women’s race.
Pro Men – ‘No Limits’ takes him to the edge
There was work to do for Laundry and Sanders after swimming a lap in protected Betsie Bay.
For the front group of four, including former ITU star Matt Sharpe (CAN) and Australian Sam Appleton, was more than a minute ahead of the rest.
Laundry was at +1:32 and Sanders at +2:20 but things started to change quickly as Laundry became the leader in the first 30km, while Sanders also closed quickly.
They would be first and second at the half-way stage, with Laundry exactly a minute ahead and he doubled it to two minutes in the running.
Sanders, who bounced back well from a controversial disqualification at the 70.3 Worlds in Finland three weeks ago, is gradually starting to chip away at that lead but Laundry will have enough firepower in a thrilling final.
The gap was reduced to 50 seconds with 4 km remaining – and 26 seconds at the final checkpoint at 19.8 km – but Laundry held on by 11 seconds to take his first win since the 70.3 Oceanside in April last year.
He crossed the line in 3:36:48, just ahead of ‘No Limits’, with Trevor Foley (USA) completing the podium in third just over three minutes ago.
Sanders easily ran the fastest half marathon of any major competitor with a time of 1:09:53.
Pro Women – Jewett’s strength is clearly in the running
It was not at all surprising to see Lauren Brandon, who only had Lucy Charles-Barclay ahead of her in the PTO swimming standings, out of the water first.
The American was more than a minute ahead of the rest of the field, with Jewett three minutes behind in seventh.
And on the bike she would extend that lead to three minutes over everyone as Jewett moved into a chasing group that also included Jackie Hering (USA).
There was a real status quo going into T2, with Brandon alone at the front and three minutes it was back to five chasers led by Jewett.
But things changed dramatically from the start of the race with Jewett showing why he is one of the best athletes in the sport by halving his lead in the first few kilometres.
Amazingly, he had the lead from the 5km mark and would never look back. Vulture was the only one able to keep him over any distance but when the line came there was more than three minutes between them, Jewett had clocked a half marathon time of 1:15:19.
It was a sweet win for Jewett after her 70.3 Worlds was also derailed by a bike penalty and it was her second win of the season after Oceanside’s 70.3.
It was also a double for the Real Triathlon Squad, with Jewett and Laundry both part of that team.
2023 IRONMAN 70.3 Michigan Results
Sunday 17 September 2023 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
- 1. Jackson Laundry (CAN) – 3:36:48
- 2. Lionel Sanders (CAN) – 3:36:59
- 3. Trevor Foley (USA) – 3:40:13
- 4. Sam Appleton (AUS) – 3:41:11
- 5. Matt Sharpe (CAN) – 3:43:26
- 1. Tamara Jewett (CAN) – 4:05:05
- 2. Jackie Hering (USA) – 4:08:36
- 3. Robin Pomeroy (USA) – 4:13:15
- 4. Grace Alexander (USA) – 4:14:54
- 5. Lauren Brandon (USA) – 4:16:49
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