IRONMAN North American Champion Matt Hanson put together one of his best swims, a solid bike and a blistering show stopper of a run in defense of his IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene title.

Hanson won this race in 2017 and holds a strong connection to the small Idaho town that hosts it, explaining “This town is a special place for me since it’s where my triathlon journey started. I did my first IRONMAN here in 2011. The venue is beautiful and the spectator support on the run is awesome. Coeur d’Alene is also a town that has hosted a lot of races and the volunteers are AWESOME here. It isn’t the easiest place for me to travel to logistics wise, but the race fits well in the schedule and it is well worth the trip.”

When Hanson finished his swim in the front group only 3 seconds back of Starykowicz, he knew he was off to a great start and stated, “This was definitely the best swim I’ve been able to put together. I was only 30 seconds faster than last year at Coeur d’Alene but came out of the water second and was first out of T1 which is definitely new territory for me.”

On the bike, Hanson gave back over 4 and half minutes to Starykowicz, and 3:30 and 4:14 to ex-pro cyclists Kennett Peterson and Andrew Talansky. Hanson, who has shown he is a solid rider, expressed “I am not super happy with the way I rode, I was having some back issues and really struggled to keep any power on the pedals the last half of the day. I was able to minimize the damage, thankfully, and my back settled down as soon as I hit about mile 2 of the run.”

With 4:24 to pull back on Starykowicz, Hanson went to work early on the run “With a sizeable gap to make up on the run, I pushed hard for the first 5k and cut the gap down to 1:30. I got a glimpse at the first turn around and saw how Andrew and Kennett were looking at that point and felt confident I would be able to hold the run together and that I should be able to take the win.”

Taking the lead by mile 8 and finishing strong to post a by far best run split of 1:11:46 for the half marathon, Hanson defended his title to win IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene in 3:50:09, 2:39 ahead of 2nd place Peterson and 3:31 ahead of Starykowicz who finished 3rd.

Defending his win here last year, Hanson remarked “I am really happy to be able to end the first half of the season on a high note by defending my title here at IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene 70.3.”

“Wins are always hard to come by, so winning the same race two years in a row is definitely special.”

“Entering my mid-season break on the coat tails of another win is a nice little confidence boost. I’m looking forward to the break, then setting all sights on executing a great race at Kona.”

Hanson has continued his training without a break since his IRONMAN Texas win stating “I am actually starting a 10 day break today! Last year I took a break too early and think I got too fit too fast and ended up peaking before Kona. So Coaches Julie and Matt and I decided to ride the fitness from IMTX for a bit longer and try to get a couple other quality races out of the build. As soon as I start back up, my training focus will be Kona, although I will likely fit in a couple more 70.3 races prior to IRONMAN World Championships”.

IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
June 24, 2018

1 Matt Hanson 3:50:09
2 Kennett Peterson 3:52:48
3 Andrew Starykowicz 3:53:40
4 Stephen Kilshaw 4:01:54
5 Patrick Brady 4:03:06
6 Robbie Wade 4:04:34
7 Andrew Talansky 4:05:55
8 Alex Libin 4:06:34
9 Tyler Ems 4:06:51
10 Andre Lopes 4:08:48