On Saturday, USA’s Matt Hanson won Ironman’s North American Championships in The Woodlands, Texas for the second year in a row. He was also the 2015 winner. Aussie Melissa Hauschildt crossed the finish line in the women’s race far ahead of the rest of the pack.
Hanson & Tutukin Closed Starykowicz’s Nine-Minute Run Lead
Hanson and Russia’s Ivan Tutukin stayed close together through the run. They entered the run leg in a pack with Australia’s Tim Van Berkel and others, before quickly leaving them behind. American Andrew Starykowicz led the run by as much as nine minutes before the Tutukin and Hanson duo passed him in the final 15 kilometres.
In the final few kilometres, the bronze medal beckoned to Van Berkel, Britain’s Will Clarke, and Canada’s Brent McMahon. Clarke claimed it, knocking Van Berkel into fourth.
Hanson finished the 3.9km swim, 180km bike, and 42km run in 07:39:25, 32 seconds before Tutukin and 5:57 before Clarke. To be honest, the bike course was a little shorter than 180km because of a last minute decision to cut out a few kilometres.
Hauschildt Beat Last Year’s Winner by 12 Minutes
Hauschildt developed some blisters by the end of the marathon. She finished in 08:31:04, 12 minutes ahead of USA’s Jodie Robertson, the 2017 champion. Robertson beat her 2017 finish time by 13 minutes. Hauschildt was seventh off the bike before becoming the leader early in the marathon.
Robertson finished 35 seconds ahead of fellow American Lesley Smith, who took bronze.