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Kona 2015 Profile: Matt Hanson (USA)


Career Highlights

  • Multiple IM Winner (Chattanogga, Texas)

2015 Season

  • 5th IM Wisconsin 8:50:16
  • 1st IM Chattanooga 8:12:32
  • 1st IM Texas 8:07:03
  • 7th 70.3 Racine

Matt was the “surprise” winner of IM Texas this year. He jokes that “some people are convinced that I didn’t win IMTX, but everyone else lost it”. But as with all “overnight successes”, this result has been a long time in the making and certainly no fluke: Matt has raced Kona before as an agregrouper (with a 2:53 marathon!) and had already won IM Chattanooga before. After his win in Texas he decided to focus on being a professional triathlete – in the summer he did not renew his contract as an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Athletic Training at Buena Vista University in Iowa.


Matt has prepared a long time for Texas: “I spent 8 months focused on winning that race so taking the tape was an amazing way to show how the hard work paid off.” But his long term focus has always been on Kona: “Kona is where all of my major goals in the sport revolve around. Everything else is just preparing to put myself in a position to enter that race well rested and in good form. Volume is a bit higher over the summer than it has been in previous years, but this has always been part of the plan regardless of what happened in Texas. The biggest thing I am doing now is paying more attention to recovery.”

Even though Matt has raced Kona before, this will be his first time as a Pro. It’s hard to predict if he can make the first bike group with his slower swim, but maybe he’s even better off if he can ride his own race and not be forced to react to the pace changes in the front group. That way he can save his legs for the run and he may end up having the fastest run split. He may not be the top US finisher this year but if his development continues in the same methodical fashion he may turn out to be the next US Kona winner.

(Photo: Matt on his bike at IM Texas, supplied by Matt)

This is an excerpt from my free “Kona Rating Report” – 150+ pages with tons of information about the Kona Pro races!

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