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Sanders last race of 2022 (and first as a dad) revealed

Large Canadian contingent set to compete at California event includes a number of podium favourites

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Remember when we were asking where Canadian star Lionel Sanders’ last race would be? As we predicted, he’s heading back to Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells-La Quinta to defend his title. Sanders is just one of a number of Canadians who could be gunning for a podium spot at the race in California.

We learned that Sanders had one more race planned for 2022 when he and wife Erin announced the arrival of their first child, Levi, last month.

“One more race until we call it a season,” Sanders wrote on Instagram. “Learning to be a little more efficient with my time lately & trying to squeeze in a few naps along the way. Wouldn’t change a thing.”

The new dad will have to be on form to take a third title in Indian Wells-La Quinta (he won there in 2018) – included in the strong men’s field are fellow Canadian Jackson Laundry (who won Ironman 70.3 Oceanside earlier this year, American 70.3 Santa Cruz champ, Eric Lagerstrom (who has a Canadian connection, too – he’s Paula Findlay’s partner), along with his countryman Sam Long (assuming he’s recovered well enough from Ironman Arizona this weekend).

There’s a large Canadian pro contingent in the men’s field, too – in addition to Sanders and Laundry there’s Jason Pohl, Antoine Francoeur, Brennen Smith, Michael Nathan and Garrick Loewen.

Paula Findlay is all smiles as she takes silver at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

Findlay and Jewett take on defending champ

At last year’s race in Indian Wells-La Quinta American Danielle Lewis rode her way to the win thanks to a 2:15:51 bike split. While Canada’s Tamara Jewett would run an impressive 1:16:00 run split, it wasn’t enough to catch the American – she would take second (4:14:59), just 58 seconds out of first.

Tamara Jewett’s 1:16 run split at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship was the fastest of the day and would move her to ninth.

Fresh off a runner-up finish at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, Paula Findlay will arrive in California in top form as she looks to reclaim the title she won in 2019. Like the men’s race, there are a number of other Canadian women in the pro field including Rachel Faulds, Heidi Frehlich and Veronique Ranger.

You can find the full start list here.