For those that live in North America, Ironman 70.3 Oceanside marks the unofficial start of the long course season. This year’s race did not disappoint. In the lead up to the race, numerous athletes withdrew due to injuries, including Lionel Sanders, Tim Reed and Andrew Talansky. Despite there being no Frodo-Sanders showdown in Oceanside, the race had several interesting headlines – Daniela Ryf begins 2019 in North America, Ryf versus Lawerence and a deep men’s field of North American talent.

Lionel Sanders withdrew from this year’s race with an aggravated sciatic nerve.

Related: Lionel Sanders withdraws from Ironman 70.3 Oceanside

In the women’s race, Holly Lawrence came out of the water first, but Ryf quickly chased her down on the bike and had a six-minute lead going into T2. Ryf would end up finishing ahead of Lawerence by 4:47, and Ellie Salthouse finished third, 2:35 behind Lawerence. Canadian Paula Findlay finished fourth and earned a spot to the World Championship race in Nice.

On the men’s side, Eric Lagerstrom took the lead out of the water and was quickly followed by Ben Kanute. Early into the 90K bike, Rodolphe Von Berg made his move to the front of the race. On the run, it was a two-man showdown between Von Berg and Kanute. In the end, it would be Kanute who took the win – a mere 12-seconds ahead of Von Berg. Adam Bowden used his run strength to finish third. Canadian Taylor Reid finished an impressive fourth place, following a superb run performance.

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