2 x Zone3 Ironman World Record Holders

Matt Hanson has been recognised as the IRONMAN world record holder, surpassing Tim Don.

IRONMAN Texas 2018 was a blisteringly fast race, where pro results were on average 12 minutes faster than last year. It was won by Zone3 athlete Matt Hanson in a staggering time of 7:39:25. This beats Tim Don’s previous IRONMAN record of 7:40:23. Both incredible performances, but this event has caused a lot of controversy in the triathlon community – which one counts? 

Tim Don previously held the IRONMAN world record, completing IRONMAN Brazil in 7:40:23. 

The bike course at IRONMAN Texas was approximately 110 miles, instead of the full 112 miles. This change was made to ensure athlete safety throughout the course. See below the statement from IROMAN regarding this change, which was released after the event. . According to athletes at the race, this shortened course was not communicated on race morning.


Post-event, in which multiple World Bests and World Records were broken, IRONMAN Texas received some backlash from athletes that took part in the race. It was pointed out that even though other IRONMAN races have been slightly shorter in the past, they have been contributed towards World Records.

Safety Issues at IRONMAN Texas

Later on, IRONMAN Texas discussed in more detail the reasoning behind changing the course: “The bike course utilized the Hardy Toll road and while doing the final course check on race morning with city and transportation officials, it was determined that the safest turnaround location was not true to the predicted course measurement. For the course to be the standard 112 miles, the turnaround location would have needed to be placed in an area which cut down the width of the course and included a low wall embankment, making that location unsafe.”

As well as this, it was discussed that all vehicles had to be removed from the bike course for safety reasons. Several unauthorised vehicles had been reported on the course, and “erratic and unsafe driving behavior” had been reported throughout. It has consequently been suggested that the lack of race referees caused a number of drafting offenses to go unnoticed.

Matt Hanson is now the official IRONMAN world record holder. 

IRONMAN Texas have since amended their thoughts on the original statement, announcing that all the records that were broken would be recognised. This was after the IRONMAN Global Race Operations Committee had reviewed the situation.

Matt Hanson’s time of 7:39:25 now counts as the official IRONMAN world record. This is alongside bike split World Bests that were broken on the day. The record passes from one Zone3 athlete to another! We are incredibly proud to have both Tim Don and Matt Hanson representing Zone3; Each performance is exceptional in its own right.

“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 essentially 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” – Matt Hanson 

Related: The Return Of The Don – Tim Don is Back From Injury