In his first Ironman as a pro, the Ontario native dominated the race from start to finish. The swim was cancelled due to high winds and rip current, favouring the duathletes in the mix including Tom Lowe and Sanders. Nonetheless, with a lead of over 13 minutes on the bike and six on the run, it seems likely Sanders would have taken the win even with the swim. With a blazing 2:44 marathon, Sanders’s pace couldn’t be matched. Lowe eventually took second almost 20 minutes behind Sanders and American Maxim Kriat took third.
In the women’s race, Dutch athlete Yvonne Van Vlerken won with a big margin of 35 minutes taking her third title in a row at Panama City Beach. Sweden’s Camilla Lindholm took second in 8:36:28, followed closely by American Ashley Clifford less than 30 seconds behind in third. Fellow American and neo pro Rachel Jastrebsky was fourth in 8:39:43.