The Ironman World Championships was an impressive show of the worlds best long distance triathletes in St. George, Utah. The championship, consisting of a 2.4mile (3.8km) swim, 112mile (180km) bike and 26.2mile (42.2km) run, typically takes place in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii but was delayed several times and eventually the 2021 edition was moved to the alternate venue. St. George proved to be worthy of a championship, serving up cold waters, scorching heat, and a tough hilly course. While Daniela Ryf and Kristian Blummenfelt dominated the womens and mens fields respectively, THEMAGIC5 had three athletes in the race who impressed with world class performances and all-round personal bests. 

Matt Hanson (USA)

Matt finished in 8 hours and 13 minutes to claim 13th, fighting back eight places on the marathon to mark a personal best finish at the world championship level. 
The day started off well for Hanson, who chose to race with the Black Magic Mirror Silver goggles: The swim was good. I got off to a great start. Unfortunately, the break for the first pack happened one person in front of me and, by the time I got around him, I wasnt able to close the gap. So then I just sat in and kept it steady.” 

Hanson struggled on the bike, especially during the first hour, and rode mostly on his own for the entire 112 miles (180km). The first hour on the bike was pretty tough for me, moving backwards in the race. I came around and then just had to stick to my own numbers,” he says. The best part of the race, he jokes, was when he finally got off the bike. 

Hanson came into his strength on the run, passing eight competitors and clocking the third fastest run split of the day in 2 hours 43 minutes. It was a tough day overall. The conditions were definitely tough! I definitely had higher ambitions that 13th, but that is a step in the right direction and I punched my ticket to Kona.”  

Laura Siddall (GBR)

Laura finished 7th  with a time of 9 hours and 8 minutes, a personal best at her fourth Ironman world championships. Siddalls day started off with a shock: I got bashed in the head during the warm up by a male pro who swam right into the side of me. It blocked my ear and I went a bit dizzy. It was fine in the race but on the bike my ear wouldnt release the water and then I found out it was blood, not water.” Nevertheless, Siddall, who chose to race in the Blue Magic Mirror Gold, led out the second chase pack and was happy to come out of the water in eleventh position with a time of 59:22.

Siddall continued to impress on the bike, her favorite portion of the race, with the fifth fastest split of the day. Her good feelings carried her on the run but midway through the marathon, things changed. I went through a really dark patch on the run at about 25 km for 10 km. My body was going downhill fast and I couldnt figure out why. I was still drinking and taking in calories but the legs didnt want to go. I was passed by Fenella Langridge and dropped into 8th. But suddenly I realized I was gaining on her again and I got a second wind. I overtook Fenella and managed to stay ahead.”

The best moment of the race was crossing the finish line,” Siddall says with a smile. While she is excited to go to her first world championship award ceremony, immediately after she celebrated with a burger and fries, and then went back out on course to cheer on the age groupers still racing.   

Fenella Langridge (GBR)

Fenella claimed 8th at her Ironman World Championship debut, clocking the second fastest swim split.
Starting just at sunrise, Langridge opted for the Clear Magic goggles and, in her usual fashion, had a lightningfast swim with a time of 52:26. Despite having a long struggle with her wetsuit zipper in transition, Langridge put herself in a great position for the bike. Holding 5th until the midway point where she was joined by what came to form the second chase pack, Langridge came off the bike in 9th position. In hot and hilly conditions, Langridge ran herself up two places before finishing in 8th with a time of 9 hours and 9 minutes.
“I made a few mistakes which made it a really tough day mentally,” Langridge says, noting her wetsuit misfortune, nutrition, and overcoming a five minute penalty. However, Langridge says she learned “too many things” and celebrated her top ten race with beers and a barbecue. “World championships definitely did not disappoint. It had it all.”

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