Sanders a surprise IRONMAN winner

Lionel Sanders. pictured winning the TO Tri Festival 2013 earlier this year (Photo: Tommy Ferris / Ignition Fitness)

Lionel Sanders. pictured winning the TO Tri Festival 2013 (Photo: Tommy Ferris / Ignition Fitness)

Last Sunday (Sept. 8), history was made at IRONMAN Muskoka 70.3: Lionel Sanders became the first Canadian male to capture the title.

Sanders, a student at Hamilton’s McMaster University, wasn’t even on the radar when pros from around the world gathered to tackle what is considered the warm-up for IRONMAN Kona, the holy grail of triathlon. Everyone is certainly paying attention now.

With a killer performance on the bike and an absolutely blistering run, Sanders, a native of Harrow, near Windsor, topped the field in Muskoka, forcing world record holder Andreas Raelert of Germany to settle for silver.

In addition to attending McMaster, Sanders is head coach of the Hamilton Hammerheads, which “…. endeavors to teach, train, and motivate young people to achieve their ultimate potential in swimming/triathlons/running in the belief that this experience will prove valuable to them as they grow and develop.”

The 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 Muskoka was the 6th edition of the event. The 1.2-mile, one-loop swim took place in Peninsula Lake. The 56-mile bike course circled the Lake of Bays, riding through the small towns of Dwight, Dorset, and Baysville. The 13.1-mile run went past Muskoka’s granite rock and waterfalls.