By: Barrie Shepley
An emotional day with an exceptional young man. Lionel Sanders learned a lot today in Kona Ironman Champs. A challenging swim left him 11 min down in 50th place and a hole he had to dig out of all day. He maintained the pace the lead pack rode, by himself for 110km.
He lost a bit of juice the last 70km but still came off the bike in 24th place and then started his gutsy 26 mile marathon. By 10 miles he was in 16th spot, by the energy lab he was back and forth between 12th and 14th and finished the day off with a very respectable 14th place KONA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE.
All over the country there were Lionel Sanders parties to send some love and energy. Thanks to Darcy Haggith and Infinit Nutrition Canada and Windsor Triathlon Club for hosting the biggest party of the day in Windsor.
Thanks to the C3 club members who had parties all over the GTA and regions. Thanks to the many sponsors and donors and club members and coaches and training partners who were all so important in Lionel getting to Kona, healthy and motivated to dig in.
He is the youngest man to be in the top 15 and one of the few rookies. All the top men are 32-36 years of age. Without Louis Garneau, Freshii, Skechers Performance Shoes, Nineteen Wetsuits, Computrainer, Sportstats, Kinetico, C3, Benson Steel, Royal Containers and the donors who have helped the journey, Lionel could not be where he was today.
What was nice at the finish, was while he was satisfied he couldn't give any more TODAY, he knows he has so much more to learn and grown and give in the future. A true sign of a champion.
Kudos to Jan Frodeno for his win & Daniela Ryf for their impressive wins. Kudos to Canadian Brent McMahon and Jeff Symonds who helped the world realize that Canadian men are a force in the future. Our ladies had some bike problems today, but no Kona is without challenges.
Thanks to all of you for being a part of this PHASE of his journey.