Matt Hanson | Professional Triathlete
5x Ironman Champion/ 4x 70.3 Champion

Galveston 70.3 Race Report

Pre RaceGalveston was the first race of the season, my first Pro 70.3, and my first race with Maverick Multisport. It had been a long off season and I was chomping at the bit to get to the starting line.  Coming in to the race, I was feeling pretty good overall both physically and mentally. After classes on Wednesday I drove down to Dallas and stayed with a friend. Thursday I drove down to the Woodlands and got a short ride on the IMTX course then swam with Magnolia Masters on Thursday night and Friday morning. I headed down to Galveston on Friday morning after the swim and got everything ready to go for race day.

Race Morning

Race morning I work up at 3:30 and drank my typical pre-race breakfast, a Naked fruit smoothie. I went back to bed for an hour and woke up around 4:30, got the car loaded, and headed to transition by 5:30. In hind sight, I got to transition way too early. I was pretty much set up and ready to race by 6:00. Todd, another athlete coached by OutRival Racing and I headed to the ORR tent in the expo to have a place to sit and relax. I got my wetsuit on and headed to swim start at 6:45

Swim – 27:37

swimI jumped in the water at 6:45 and started to warm up. The water was 67 degrees, which was actually quite comfortable in my new wetsuit. This was my first time swimming in the TYR Hurricane suit. I was really surprised on how free my shoulders felt to move, my last suit pulled on my shoulders quite a bit. After the warm up, I got to the line and got ready to go. About 2 minutes before the start, they announced we were going to be delayed 5 minutes. This was probably for the best being you couldn’t really see anything at all. I warmed up a bit more, found my spot on the line, said a quick prayer and got ready to race.

I got off the line really well when the gun went off. The water was really choppy and the first stretch was against the wind. Still, I was able to hold on to the first pack which is something I had never been able to do before. I was right where I wanted to be going into the first turn. But, that is where I made the first mistake of the day. The first turn was probably a 135 degree turn and I only turned 90 degrees. It took me about 3 strokes before I realized I was alone. I tried to make the correction and get back with the pack, but just couldn’t get back with the first group. I swam alone for a bit then joined in the second pack once they caught me. I swam comfortably in the pack for the rest of the swim. I came out of the water in 19th place and in 27:37, which was quite a bit slower than my goal pace. Still, it was a PR for this distance. Swimming with Magnolia has really been paying off!

T1 – 1:51

The first transition did not go very well. I took a gamble and went to the wetsuit peelers thinking it might save a second or two. My wetsuit got really bunched up when they tried pulling it off and I ended up just doing it myself anyway. It wasn’t a huge deal overall, but I probably lost about 30 seconds in the whole ordeal. I found my bike quickly and was able to make the rest of the transition smooth.

Bike – 2:09:42

Bike 2I mounted the bike and started riding at my target wattage right away. I had been riding my new Argon since January, but really only had 4 outdoor rides on it. I was really impressed with how well I was able to move into the wind. I knew the fit that I got at VO2 Multisport was comfortable but hadn’t truly had a chance to get a feel of how aero I was in that position. All of my previous outdoor rides required a great deal of extra clothing! I went with the ENVE 8.9s in both front and back. I was a little concerned about the handling if we had a cross wind with the deeper front, but it didn’t affect me at all. It was hard to get in a groove right away being the only turns on the course were in the first mile. Also, the first mile had a ton of pot holes and a few speed bumps. Really, it is the only difficult part of the course. The rest of the roads were perfect. The first half of the bike was with a pretty significant tail wind. I had lost most of the pack of swimmers that I came in with, so the first portion was a pretty lonely ride. A few guys passed me on the way out, but at that point I didn’t want to change my race plan. I planned on holding 290-295 watts with the wind and 310-310 on the return trip into the wind. I held my pace just as planned and caught up with a group of 4 riders right as we were approaching the half way turn. Turning into the wind was like hitting a wall. Still, I was surprised how well I was able to maintain speed.  I passed the group of 4 riders as soon as we started the section into the wind. We went back and forth for a few miles but eventually I broke away from them. I pushed a little under my goal watts on the return trip and averaged 282 watts for the entire ride.  Overall, the ride went pretty close to how I planned and I was right at my goal pace for the bike leg. I jumped off of the bike in 18th place overall.

I did get off my nutrition plan slightly during the ride. I had 2 bottles of my Infinit Custom blend, one bottle of water, and one 6 ounce flask of Infinit Napalm – Highly Caffeinated on my bike. I know 3 bottles on a 70.3 might be a bit of overkill. I planned on being completely self sustaining rather than having to slow down for any bottle exchanges. It was raining a bit on and off on the ride so I stayed pretty cool overall. I drank both of my bottles of Infinit and the Napalm right on schedule but I didn’t drink any of the water. I stayed pretty cool overall, so I just wasn’t thinking about drinking.

Bike 3T2 – 1:00

T2 went much better than T1. I racked my bike, threw on my shoes, and grabbed the rest of my gear and started throwing it on as I ran out of transition.







Run – 1:13:32Run 1

I started cramping the second I left transition. Both of my VMOs (quads) started to lock up right away. I had never cramped that early in the run before so I really thought it would go away quickly. To make matters worse, I dropped my flask of Infinit Napalm right out of transition. I was relying on that for most of my calories during the run. Thankfully, one of the volunteers yelled up to me that they would throw it to me when I came back after the first out and back. Definitely a race saver as I just can’t handle gels. I was about a quarter mile into the run when I saw where the first runners were. I was about 6 minutes out of 5th at that point which was where I wanted to finish. I figured it would take a 1:10 to bridge the gap to the podium so I started running at a 5:15 pace. My cramps had not gone away by the first mile mark but I was still able to push through them. I went into survival mode through the aid stations. I started with cola at mile one, which I usually don’t do until half way. I also took a few salt tabs which I didn’t really plan on needing but thankfully threw in my pocket in a last minute decision.

I caught the first guy right at the 1 mile mark. I held the 5:15 pace for the first 4 miles and was making pretty good progress. I was gaining a spot or two every mile. Around mile 5, I did a little self assessment and figured I was not going to be able to pull off a 1:10 so I decided to let the pace drift down to 5:30-35. It turned out to be a good choice. When I saw the first pack again around the half way point, it became pretty evident that I was not going to be able to catch 5th place. I still wanted to make sure I finished as high and as fast as I could. The entire run, I was in “survival” mode, trying to get the cramps to either go away or at least not get worse. I took in a lot more cola, Perform, and electrolyte tabs than I had practiced with. I was able  to prevent the cramps form getting worse but in the process I upset my stomach a little. I started dry heaving around mile 11. I had moved into 8th right at mile 11 and 7th was quite a bit ahead of me. Unless one of the guys blew up, I wasn’t going to catch them so at that point, I decided to let the pace drift down a bit more to make sure I wasn’t the guy that exploded. I held 6 minute miles for the last two miles.

Final Thoughts – 3:53:42  8th place overallFinish

Overall, I am happy with how the race went but not satisfied. I made a swimming mistake that cost me a bit of time and made a nutrition mistake on the bike that probably cost me a few minutes on the run. I like the Galveston course for the most part. It was awesome to have so many people there supporting me. It was awesome to have so many Magnolia and ORR athletes there cheering me on throughout the entire race. A huge thank you to my wife for keeping all of my friends and family updated during the race and to Corey Oliver and Kimberely Blackwell for taking some awesome pictures during the race. It was a great way to start the season. I thank God for a safe race and travels to and from as well as such an awesome support system at the race!


One Comment

  1. Pingback: Maverick Multisport » Matt Hanson, 8th Pro at Ironman 70.3 Texas race report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *