Brent McMahon and Lionel Sanders are back in Tempe for a Canadian showdown to reclaim the crown at Ironman Arizona on Sunday. This was McMahon’s breakthrough Ironman win in 2014 when he recorded the world’s fastest debut at 7 hours 55 minutes 48 seconds and by now, the former Olympian has a penchant for going under the eight-hour mark over the full distance. McMahon has won three out of four Ironmans outside of Kona (last year he took second to Sanders), but seeks to redeem himself this year. For Sanders, this is a chance for a back-to-back title at one of the most competitive full distances races on the calendar each year. Coming off a year of mixed results — the 28-year-old started the year off with a winning streak and then under-performed at Kona — Sanders is fit and ready to reclaim Arizona on Sunday.
“I feel strong, rested, and ready for this Ironman, and hopefully another sub-eight performance,” McMahon said at the press conference today.
“I have one race plan which is go as hard as you can on the bike and hang on for dear life on the run,” Sanders said when asked about how he plans to execute on Sunday. He also added that he’s been picturing racing McMahon in practice for the last two months in preparation for the race.
On the women’s side, Angela Naeth, another Canadian well-suited to the full distance (Naeth won the 2015 Ironman North American Championship), looks to make a strong comeback to the full Ironman scene fresh off at win at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel.