Sanders, Haskins take Panama

Lionel Sanders had a race best 1:55:04 bike split and a superb 1:14:48 run to win the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 Panama. Sarah Haskins was solid all day to grab the women's title in this Pan American Pro Championship event.

In the men's race Teylor Arboleda was first out of the water in 21:25. That was 3 seconds up on Matt Chrabot, and almost 30 seconds on Paul Matthews and Luke McKenzie, but the man from Venezuela did not figure into the rest of the race and had neither a bike nor a run split listed, and thus it was Chrabot who owned the fastest swim split.

The top 10 men were only separated by 19 seconds as they left T1, and the group was led by Chrabot and McKenzie. Antony Costes soon moved into the lead and pulled away from the front group. Behind him Lionel Sanders was on the move after a 24:35 swim split and he managed to catch all but Costes. Costes was the first to reach the bike-run transition with a fabulous 1:57:22 bike split, but Lionel Sanders reached T2 just under a minute behind him with a race best 1:55:04 effort. Tim Reed and Chrabot were next off the bike, but more than 3 minutes behind Sanders, and the foot race was on.

Jeff Symonds had the fastest run split among the men with a time of 1:14:32, but in the end that was only 16 seconds faster than the time of Sanders, and only good enough for fourth place. Sanders easily hung on to win the Pan American Pro Championship event in 3:38:02. Costes finished second in 3:41:53 and Reed grabbed the final podium spot in 3:44:08. Oscar Galindez impressed onlookers with his 5th place finish at the end and a 3rd best 1:59:49 bike split.

Lauren Brandon was first out of the water in 21:44, but Sarah Haskins, Heather Lendway and Lauren Goss were all within 7 seconds of the leader. Dede Griesbauer was alone 2:24 behind, and all other athletes were spread out nicely behind her.

Haskins took charge early on during the bike but it was Lendway who proved to be strongest. She earned the fastest bike split of the day in a time of 2:12:44, 1:12 quicker than Lauren Brandon and 1:15 faster than Haskins, and it gave her a nice lead going into the run.

Haskins was on a mission and caught Lendway quickly and then pulled away. But it was Lisa Roberts who had the fastest women's run split of 1:22:05 and that helped her get the runner-up spot, but Haskins, who ran a 1:28:34, still had a 1:40 cushion at the end and the Pan American Pro Championship title in hand. Lendway managed to hang on to third place 6 seconds behind Roberts and 8 seconds up on Kirsty Jahn who finished fourth. Linsey Corbin earned 5th place.

IRONMAN 70.3 Pan American Championships
Panama City, Panama / January 31, 2016

Top men

1. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 3:38:52
2. Antony Costes (FRA) 3:41:53
3. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:44:08
4. Jeff Symonds (CAN) 3:44:20
5. Oscar Galindez (ARG) 3:44:53

Top women

1. Sarah Haskins (USA) 4:08:53
2. Lisa Roberts (USA) 4:10:35
3. Heather Lendway (USA) 4:10:41
4. Kristy Jahn (USA) 4:10:49
5. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:12:23