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With back-to-back events featuring some of the sport’s biggest names, Ironman is doing exactly what the PTO is trying to achieve

Lionel Sanders vs Sam Long vs Jackson Laundry vs Trevor Foley ... round 2 this weekend in Florida!

Photo by: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images for Ironman

Not sure how exactly this is happening, but the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) is being out-PTO’d by Ironman over the last couple of weeks.

Remember when we broke the news that the PTO was “making a number of changes to the PTO strategy” (see the link below) based on an email sent to PTO pros by chairman Chris Kermode?

PTO, an organization started to help long-distance athletes, won’t operate races longer than 100km

Among the new goals was consistency – “with the same regular faces and names competing head-to-head throughout the year,” Kermode wrote in the email.

Well, guess what? After an exciting showdown at the Ironman North American Championship in St. George last weekend, the top four from that race are back at it again a week later at Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast in Panama City Beach, Florida. Both events feature live coverage.

Wearing race #1 on Saturday is fan-favourite Lionel Sanders, looking to improve on his fourth-place finish last weekend. His training partner, Trevor Foley, who managed to follow up his 16th-place finish at Ironman Texas from two weeks before with a runner-up finish in Utah, will wear race #5. ┬áLong, fresh off an impressive win (see link below), wears race #2, with Sanders’ Canadian countryman Jackson Laundry, who has a pair of third-place finishes this year from Oceanside and St. George, appropriately wearing #3.

Adding to the fun in the men’s race will be another popular pro, Tim O’Donnell (#4), fresh off a win at Ironman 70.3 Peru last month.

You can see the full pro list here. The race features pro men only, with the women’s only race taking place in Chattanooga on May 21. Both races offer $25,000 in prize money.

Live event coverage of the race will be broadcast on Outside TV starting at 5:30 AM local time (6:30 AM EST).