There seems to always be something with Ironman Texas. In 2016, controversy surrounded the race after organizers announced in the weeks leading up to it that the bike course would not be a full 180 km — in fact, that year it was a mere 151 km. This year, both the bike and run course were short by a few kilometres, and so no records were recognized. This was not announced prior to the race leaving some athletes, including Canada’s Jen Annett — who would have set a new world Ironman bike course record with her time of 4:25:11– frustrated.
“IRONMAN Texas, this is total BS, as the course was short last year as well,” Annett replied to Ironman Texas’s post on Facebook. “If you “know” that the course is short, this should be explained prior to race start, stating that “no records will be recognized”. However, this was not the case, and as someone who now hold an “unrecognized” world record, am extremely upset about this, as are many other athletes both professional and age group. I will also like to bring up the fact that last year the male Ironman bike record was broken and recognized, even tho the course was short.”
Not all Ironman courses are certified nor are they the same length, in fact it’s not uncommon for a bike course to be off by a kilometre or two.The top 11 pro men all went under eight hours at Ironman Texas yesterday, which hosted the North American championships, and winner Matt Hanson’s time would have been an Ironman world record if the race had been recognizing records.
Are Ironman times getting faster or are the courses just getting shorter? 🤔 #IMTX
— Dougal (@DougalAllan) April 29, 2018
Another issue to arise from yesterday’s race was the blatant packs that had formed on the bike course from the age groupers. Many expressed their frustrations on social media, with some rumours circulating that Ironman officials had decided not to officiate the race because of the packs “for safety reasons”.
I'm sure every one of these athletes is "anti-doping" and would spit on Lance Armstrong. But I guess this isn't an ethical violation of the sport. Drafting = Doping. How can they not be DQ'd #IMTX pic.twitter.com/TWUgRKbQJ6
— Carson Christen M.A. (@carsonchristen) April 28, 2018
— Sue Aquila (@fewoman) April 29, 2018
— Zach Miller (@ZachTris2Run) April 29, 2018
Full results for Ironman Texas can be found here.