Matt Hanson breaks the tape at Ironman Des Moines

(Photo: Facebook)

He was clearly the fastest athlete today: Matt Hanson (USA) just took a big win at the Ironman North American Championship in Des Moines (7:56:48 hours). Brazil’s Andre Lopes tried everything he could to try to chase Hanson down on the run, but although he got closer, he didn’t succeed. 2:39 minutes after Hanson, Lopes took second. With America’s Timothy O’Donnell, the podium was complete (+13:19).

After 48:54 minutes, America’s Timothy O’Donnell was first out of the water, closely followed by Jesper Svensson (SWE). With a deficit of 1:37 minute, Lopes followed in third place. Hanson reached his bike in fourth position (+2:49). On the bike, a lead group of four took shape: Svensson, O’Donnell, Lopes, and Hanson. For the rest of the field, the gap to these four soon widened. The fifth man – Argentina’s Luciano Taccone – was around nine minutes behind 80K into the bike part.

In the second part of the bike, Lopes had to let go of the group. That seemed to be due to the pace that Hanson pushed, as also O’Donnell and Svensson dropped off before T2. Hanson was first to rack his bike, O’Donnell followed 24 seconds later, and Svensson started the run in third place (+0:38).

Slowly, but steadily, Hanson continued his attack on the marathon. Half a marathon later, Hanson was five minutes ahead of O’Donnell and seven minutes to Lopes. While O’Donnell started to struggle after that, Lopes showed he had some power left. There was no way he could catch up with Hanson, though. Hanson claimed the victory, but Lopes got much closer as he followed 2:39 minutes later to take second. O’Donnell settled for third (+13:19).