Sam Long smashes Trek debut
After his win at Clash Miami on Friday, Sam Long said he had the best offseason of his life. He proved it with an incredible debut performance as a Trek athlete. He broke the course record with a 1:19:18 bike split on his way to a 1:51 victory over Jason West. Fellow Trek athlete Ben Kanute took third at 2:36 back of Long to complete an All-American podium.
“Winning Clash Miami was a big statement,” Long said after the race. “Amazingly on the bike, I was stronger than I have ever been before. The bike, the wheels, the position. The whole machine is faster, and I am stronger. No one could match my pace. The joy of riding through everyone made the thousands of miles of training this winter worth it.”
Though Long excelled on the bike, he was most proud of his swim. The first triathlon leg has traditionally been Long’s weak link. But on Friday he laid down one of his best swims ever, and emerged from the water in better position than he typically enjoys. Starting the second transition, he was 28th, 2:33 off the lead.
“I made a swim group that I have never made before,” Long said. “I don’t think it was a fluke. This is the level I swim at now. I felt smooth and in control on the swim.”
Long made up the deficit and then some on the bike, finishing the leg in first place at 23 seconds ahead of Kanute. For roughly the last 15 miles of the bike, the new Speed Concept was 1-2 on the road. Kanute entered the second transition at 2:34 ahead of third-place Jonas Schomburg.
Long ran away from the entire field on the final leg, which was particularly impressive given the searing heat on the day.
“I came into T2 with a small lead, but at that point I was almost certain I was going to win,” Long said. “I have backed my run and having that confidence opened my heart to run. I settled into a nice rhythm and once again proved hot running is the condition I excel at.”
At 6’4 with a bright pink bike, Long is hard to miss on the course. Safe to say, he turned heads in a lot of ways Friday. Long is headed to a half-distance race in Chile this weekend, and keeping his sights set on Ironman World Championships in St. George this May. Don’t you dare miss his next moves.