Just when you think you're tough enough


Controversy on world records made at IRONMAN North American Championship in Texas

Matt Hanson won the IRONMAN North American Championship Texas 2018 in world record time. (Twitter/Ironman)

Records were shattered at the IRONMAN North American Championship in Texas, USA with Matt Hanson and Mel Hauschildt notching Ironman’s world records the wins at 7:39:25 and 8:31:05 respectively.

With perfect conditions, a fast course, and an incredibly talented pro field had lined up for a day that delivered scorchingly fast times, now the controversy remains on whether the records were fairly awarded on the course which was shortened by 3km of the usual 180km bike distance.

The men hit the non-wetsuit swim first and the pace was hot from the start, with most of the race favourites came out of the 3.8km swim together with one big exception: Matt Hanson. While Andrew Starykowicz hit the front of the bike course with Johann Ackermann, Hanson had his chase work cut out for him up front, contained in the large group containing Frederik Van Lierde, Brent McMahon, Paul Matthews, Will Clarke, Tim Berkel, and Jan Van Berkel.

Starky had a 15-minute lead off of the bike, but behind he had a hard-charging Hanson, with run shadow Ivan Tutukin seemingly a half a step behind the entire marathon. There was no stopping Hanson, however, as he stormed the run course to an all-time IRONMAN best 2:34 marathon to take yet another North American championship title.

Mel Hauschildt recorded the women’s best IRONMAN record timing at the IRONMAN North American Championship 2018. (

On the women’s side, it was uber-swimmer Lauren Brandon that demolished the field, posting a 48-minute swim that left all of the pro women and pro men in her wake. The gaps getting onto the bike were large, but the women put down the watts to try to get to the front. Kimberley Morrison’s strong ride delivered her int T2 first, with Lauren Brandon a close second, Jen Annett third, and then a large group with Jodie Robertson, Mel Hauschildt, Michelle Versterby, Meredith Kessler, and Jocelyn McCauley.

It was clear right away that Hauschildt had the run legs for the win in her, and closing with a 2:57 marathon made her nearly untouchable. Jodie Roberston didn’t have her usual run on the day, but she found her legs late to make her way back up to second place. The biggest mover on the day, however, was Leslie Smith who ran a 2:58 to run from 13th off the bike to third place by days’ end.

*Despite the bike course that was shortened to 110 miles on race morning, after review by the IRONMAN Global Race Operations Committee, it has been determined that athletes who completed the three-discipline course prescribed at the IRONMAN North American Championship Texas triathlon will be recognized as eligible for world bests. Congratulations to all athletes who set world best times in both overall and individual discipline categories.

Top 5 Pro Men

1 Hanson, Matt USA 7:39:25
2 Tutukin, Ivan RUS 7:39:57
3 Clarke, Will GBR 7:45:22
4 Berkel, Tim AUS 7:47:42
5 Van Berkel, Jan CHE 7:48:40

Top 5 Pro Women

1 Hauschildt, Mel AUS 8:31:05
2 Robertson, Jodie USA 8:43:16
3 Smith, Lesley USA 8:43:51
4 Vesterby, Michelle DNK 8:45:47
5 Svensk, Sara SWE 8:46:49