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

Ironman Texas Report Part 1 – Response to all the Crazyness

photo by @ironphotogirl

Wow…I’ve been flooded with so many emotions as I’ve been trying to dissolve this years North American Championships. I usually try to get my race reports up as quickly as possible, but this one has taken me a bit of time to start. I’ve said numerous times that I love Ironman Texas. I’ve had many great experiences on that course. I have an amazing host family in The Woodlands who make it feel like a second home for me. The fan support on the course there is second to none for me as well. Plus it is an easier race for my family to get to and my college roommate has been able to come down for the race each of the 6 times I’ve done the event. All these things set a stage for a great day.

The race this year was incredible. To go through that tight of a run where I was battling Ivan every step of the race was incredible…stressful…nerve wracking…painful…the list goes on. I have never had to dig that deep mentally and physically to get the result that I wanted. But that is the beauty of competition. Being pushed that hard on the run is the ONLY reason I was able to run a 2:34. It is the reason I set the new Ironman World Record. I couldn’t have ran that hard on my own. This gives me a huge new found respect for Tim Don’s performance in Brazil because he led the race wire to wire on his own.


@ironphotogirlThe feeling that I got coming up the finish shoot was indescribable. To see the official clock for the first time and see all of the hard work from the last 6 months building specifically for this race pay off was incredible. To have my wife practically tackle me 2 seconds after I crossed the line was priceless and a moment I wish I could relive every day of my life. What an emotional high. That quickly came crashing down a few pegs when I was told moments later that the time would not be accepted as a brand best due to the bike course. This announcement, as well as all of the issues with the drafting in the AG race quickly went viral. I went from being on cloud 9 after the race to seeing so much negativity about the race that it was almost as if I was supposed to apologize for doing what I did. The awards banquet is supposed to be a time of celebration, but so many of the pros that I talked with were clearly frustrated about the situation and seemingly having their accomplishments belittled or just plain ignored by the media. Suddenly this course that I absolutely love got a huge black eye. Stories like Mel winning her 3rd regional championship on 3 different courses, Andrew’s amazing bike split, Will Clarke and Matt Russell coming back from significant injuries, the bike splits on the women’s race, oh yeah…and me setting the fastest overall time and running a 2:34 :). So many of these things have been overshadowed by all of the negative attention from the race. Hopefully once the dust settles, these stories will get the attention they deserve.

I actually got the announcement that Ironman was accepting my time as a new official brand record as I was writing this report. Of course, this is immediately followed by a barrage of people electronically shouting reasons they think the record should or should not stand. So do I think Ironman did the right thing by allowing my world record to stand? I actually took quite a bit of flack from my fellow pros for not fighting openly right away. I tried to toe the line as mentioned before and not feed the controversy (maybe I left all of the fight I had in me on the course!). I think there are a lot of courses with some level of variation whether it is a wetsuit legal, current assisted, moto paced on the bike, net down hill point to point, or a bit short. At the end of the day, the race is classified as an Ironman. If you take the record away, you are telling everyone who completed the course that they are essential NOT Ironman finishers. Regardless of whether you agree or not, Ironman made the decision that the course is within variance so the record will count. That means the record is attached to me, so I might as well own it. If you feel the need to put an asterisk by it, be my guest :).

I want to thank all of the supporters who have been with me every step of the way. Coach’s  Julie and Matt, Shannon and Wendy, I can’t thank you all enough for your guidance leading into the race as well as with all of the fun post race. My team of sponsors has supported me tremendously and made sure I have the best equipment possible. Look for some fun opportunities to benefit from them as well in the near future as we all celebrate this win together! It takes Team Work to make the Dream Work!


  1. Payton

    May 2, 2018 at 9:52 am

    You deserve every bit of that record man. I understand some of the fustration, but you pulled on the bike and you ran the hell out of that course end to end. Enjoy it and let it fuel you for Kona buddh!

  2. Monica santiago-petway

    May 2, 2018 at 10:08 am

    You deserve the record!!!!!! Well done and come back next year 🙂

  3. Stephen

    May 2, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Awesome race and response. Forget the trolls enjoy your accomplishments and be proud.

  4. Bryan Gottfried

    May 2, 2018 at 10:27 am

    I think you were able to cull the issue down to the bottom line pretty well. I’m glad the records will stand. You certainly earned it.

    I’m glad I was able to see it first hand. Truly an amazing comeback on the run. I thought it would be a photo finish–but I thought Ivan would drop off the pace and it would be a matter of whether or not you had enough to pass Starky in the final stretch. To have made up all that ground on Starky by the start of the 3rd lap is insane! Even more surprising was Ivan hanging with you on that pace until yu made your move.

    A very courageous effort and I’m so happy it paid off for you. Enjoy the rest of the season preparing for Kona!

  5. Yaniv

    May 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    You had an amazing race and a CRAZY run, i was riding my bike cheering the competitors and i was amazed from both you and Ivan burning the run course.

    You defiantly deserve it.

  6. Hanna

    May 2, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I am SO glad IM did the right thing by accepting your time as the world record. So many of us watched your race, cheered, bit our nails, and cried when you pulled out that finish. You earned every second of that record. Congratulations!!

  7. Andrew

    May 2, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Completely agree with every word. Congrats

  8. Joel lopez

    May 2, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Matt you continue to inspire us rockie (52year old rockie) to push our limits with you training plan and to see pull off this awesome win is great for all your fans. But you and your family earned this win and record.

    Congratulations champ.

  9. Joel lopez

    May 2, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Matt you continue to inspire us rockies (52year old rockie) to push our limits with you training plans and to see you pull off this awesome win is great for all your fans. But to you and your family you have earned this win and record so enjoy it 100%.

    Congratulations champ.

  10. g Watkins

    May 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Class Act response !!

  11. g Watkins

    May 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Class Act response

  12. Pingback: Q&A with Matt Hanson: 2018 IRONMAN Texas Champion and New IRONMAN World Record Holder | TrainingPeaks

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