HOUSTON – Before Saturday’s Ironman pro field competition kicked off, race officials decided to cut a portion of the bike course, reducing the distance from the standard 112 miles to about 110 miles, organizers said.
“The decision was made in the interest of athlete safety,” officials said in a prepared statement.
A statement released from Ironman said that world records that were set in the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship Texas triathlon held in the woodlands this weekend will now be recognized.
“The perfect conditions, fast course and incredibly talented pro field all lined up for a day that delivered scorchingly fast times,” officials said.
The bike portion of the Woodlands course had to be shortened by two miles for safety reasons. The turnaround area for cyclists was along a portion of the Hardy Toll road that became narrower and had a low wall embankment. It was deemed unsafe.
When first place finisher Matt Hanson of Iowa crossed the finish line, he thought he broke a world record. Hanson finished with an Ironman world record time of 7:39:25. In second place in the men’s division was Ivan Tutukin, followed by Will Clarke in third place.
He was later told his triathlon time didn’t’ count for a world record because the bike portion of the Woodland's course had been shortened from 112 miles to 110.
Hanson took the results in stride.
This afternoon, Matt Hanson received the good news that Ironman would uphold his world’s best times from the race. It means that Hanson now holds world records for the fastest overall Ironman time and for the fastest time to complete the marathon portion of the race.
Hanson will now move on to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.