Knibb and Sanders Win in Thrilling Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Pro Series Opener

Taylor Knibb and Lionel Sanders win the 2024 Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, setting the stage for a thrilling season.

Knibb and Sanders Win in Thrilling Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Pro Series Opener

The 2024 Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, the inaugural race of the Ironman Pro Series, saw American Taylor Knibb and Canadian Lionel Sanders claim victory in spectacular fashion. Knibb finished in 4:09:55, an impressive 11 minutes ahead of second place, while Sanders clinched the men's title with a time of 3:46:24.

The professional field was stacked with talent, featuring nearly 100 athletes vying for a share of the $50,000 USD prize purse and coveted qualifying slots for the 2024 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Taupō, New Zealand. The race attracted over 2,800 age group competitors, showcasing the popularity of the event.


Magnus Manner (DEU) and Fenella Langridge (GBR) led the charge out of the water, clocking 22:58 and 25:23, respectively. Lionel Sanders surprised many with one of his career-best swims, exiting in 22nd place and keeping pace with key rivals.


The bike course saw intense battles as athletes jockeyed for position. Sam Long (USA) pushed the pace, with Sanders and Jackson Laundry (CAN) fighting to stay in contention. Long recorded the fastest bike split of 2:05:45, just one minute off Sanders' 2015 course record. In the women's race, Knibb dominated with a blistering 2:18:00 bike split, matching Daniela Ryf's 2019 course best.


Sanders made his move on the run, steadily building a gap over Long and Laundry. He unleashed a decisive surge around mile 7.5, ultimately securing victory with a 1:10:40 half marathon. Knibb's run prowess was on full display as she extended her lead, crossing the finish line with an insurmountable advantage.

Key Insights

  • The men’s and women’s respective pro fields saw 3 Americans and 3 Canadians finish among the Top five with Canadian Lionel Sanders winning the men’s race and American Taylor Knibb winning the women’s race. Representatives of Australia, Great Britain, Belgium, and Germany rounded out the remaining places in the Top 5 of the collective men’s and women’s field
  • Lionel Sanders recorded his third victory in Oceanside having also won in 2016 and 2017. Sanders who has always performed well at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, also has two second-place finishes (2018, 2022) and a third-place finish (2015)
  • Lionel Sanders winning time was just 1:24 minutes slower than compatriot, Jackson Laundry’s course record in 2022
  • Taylor Knibb’s overall finish time of 4:09:55 was just over three minutes behind the women’s course best time which the American set herself in 2022
  • Magnus Manner (DEU) and Fenella Langridge (GBR) were first out of the water with times of 22:58 and 25:23, respectively
  • Sam Long was first off the bike in 2:05:45, just one minute slower than the bike course record Lionel Sanders set in 2015 (02:04:46)
  • In the women’s field, Taylor Knibb had the fastest bike split of 02:18:00, matching Daniela Ryf’s bike course best from 2019
  • Connor Weaver (USA) clocked the fastest run of the day in an impressive 1:10:01, and Grace Thek (AUS) recorded the fastest run time for the female professionals with a time of 1:19:28.
  • A total of 96 Professional triathletes started the race with 67 pros finishing fast enough behind the race winner to earn points toward the Ironman Pro Series standings

Post-Race Reflections

Knibb expressed her love for Ironman races, stating, "Today reminded me that these are my favourite races, period." Sanders shared his excitement for the Pro Series format and the challenge it presents, saying, "It's a stacked've got to fight for every second."

The race featured an Ironman record of 70 professional men starting, creating a spectacle at the swim start. Athletes faced chilly temperatures on the bike, adding another layer of difficulty to the demanding course.

Top Five Female Professional Results  

PlaceNameCountrySwimBikeRunTotal Time
1Taylor KnibbUSA00:25:2502:18:0001:20:154:09:55
2Emma Pallant BrownGBR29:302:27:181:18:414:20:49
3Paula FindlayCAN00:26:2002:28:1401:21:274:21:48
4Grace ThekAUS00:26:2302:31:1501:19:284:23:16
5Danielle LewisUSA00:29:4102:28:4801:21:354:25:11


Top Five Male Professional Results 

PlaceNameCountrySwimBikeRunTotal Time
1Lionel SandersCAN00:24:362:06:111:10:403:46:24
2Sam LongUSA00:25:362:05:451:12:023:47:35
3Jackson LaundryCAN00:24:432:06:201:12:373:48:22
4Jelle GeensBEL00:23:382:10:081:11:423:50:01
5Maximilian SperlDEU00:23:412:07:271:14:543:50:38