Recently, Ed Veal went head to head against Lionel Sanders. Veal currently holds the Canadian hour-record as well as the world hour-record for masters 40–44. Sanders is the winner of the ITU long-distance triathlon world championships. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first Ironman, which was held Feb. 18, 1978, the pair participated in an indoor triathlon at McMaster University in Hamilton. Veal was apart of a “dream team” featuring the hour-record holder on the 15-minute-long trainer ride, Kristen Marchant, a two-time world age-group champion in the swim and Jessey the Elf, who holds the fastest time for a 5-km with a dog, on the run. The trio took on a solo Sanders.
Veal and Sanders lobbed watt bombs against one another. In the video, you’ll see Sanders not-so-subtly looking over at Veal’s bike computer to see the numbers. In the quarter-hour of power, Veal put out an average of 447 W and Sanders did 419 W. Even with Veal’s strong performance and those of his teammates, Sanders beat the dream team.
After the event, I got some of Ed Veal’s thoughts.
What was it like racing against Lionel?
It was great, but also a little stressful. I felt like I was entering “the lions den” racing on his home turf, surrounded by legions of adoring fans. The triath-a-manics were out in full force, and Lionel is Hulk Sanders. The power he produced at his weight is incredible. What made it even more incredible was watching him transition, and then run like the wind afterwards. It was something to witness. I knew I had to do something special on the bike” Lionel only knows all-out
Have you ever done a full tri?
Believe it or not, I actually did an Iron-distance event a few years back. The Beach 2 Battleship in Wilmington N.C. I was coaching a few Ironman athletes, and we were debating (arguing) about what it takes to finish an Ironman. It slipped out of my mouth that I could roll off the couch and do an Ironman. These guys made it happen for me on two weeks notice. I don’t run or swim. I went down there an gave it my all. Definitely an experience, and a story for another day!
Did you and Lionel actually arm wrestle?
We did not actually arm wrestle. We were going to but when I grabbed his hand, I was worried about tearing it off his wrist so we just posed for a picture. (That should spark a rivalry right there!)
What’s up for you this season?
I am extremely excited to race again this year. I still feel like a little kid with something to prove. I don’t how long I will continuing waking up wanting to break souls, bikes and power records, but there are no signs of things slowing as of yet. Over the off-season, I have been working really hard on our RealDeal | Aquila elite cycling team. With a little more time and energy, our race program has really taken off. We will have a stacked roster in 2018 that I’m very proud to say includes 24 female athletes.