American long distance pro Sam Long is hoping for some home course advantage this weekend as he takes on IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder with the aim of winning his third consecutive middle distance race in a row.

After victories at IRONMAN 70.3 St George and IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast, the PTO World #6 is one of the favourites in Colorado, but will have his work cut out against defending champion Matthew Sharpe, long time rival Lionel Sanders and a number of others.

Talking on his YouTube channel before the race, Long shared that whilst the build up to Boulder has had its ups and downs, the 27 year old remains confident as he looks to reclaim the title he won in 2021.

“It’s been mixed”

Having travelled up to Boulder to prepare to race, Long revealed things hadn’t all been smooth sailing in the lead up, with the ‘Big Unit’ even considering calling off the event at one point.

“I’ve been here now for almost a month. It’s been kind of mixed, it’s been great to be here for the beautiful scenery and the altitude, in the summer I think it has some of the best riding in the world.

“It’s been really busy trying to manage trying to prepare to perform, having the baby coming and sponsors, plus having family and friends to catch up with.

“After the first week I was ready to pack up and go home because it was so stressful and call off Ironman 70.3 Boulder but I ended up changing my mind.”

Swim the focus

With the swim, despite his best efforts, still being Long’s biggest weakness, the American is keen to use the race in Boulder to gauge just how much progress he has made in the water over recent years.

Sam Long at St George [Photo credit Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN]

“I’m focusing on improvement on the field from where I was four years ago. I exited the field 4:45 back from Sam Appleton who led it out, he is here again, so I am shooting to be out at 2 minutes back.” 

For more on IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder, including a preview of the men’s field that features the likes of Long, Appleton and Sanders, click here.

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