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IRONMAN Texas 2024 Women’s Results: Kat Matthews DEFENDS title despite bike penalty

Kat Matthews (GBR) made it two from two in Texas as the British star won her second successive IRONMAN Texas title in The Woodlands.

Staff Reporter
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Kat Matthews overcame a number of hurdles to take her second successive title at IRONMAN Texas with a tremendous performance in The Woodlands.

The Brit, who won here in her comeback race in 2023, had a five minute deficit off the bike after a drafting penalty, but like last year ran her way to victory despite tearing her calf seven weeks ago.

In second, Australian Penny Slater had a great performance, with Lotte Wilms of the Netherlands rounding out the podium in third place.

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Swim – Lauren Brandon sets the tone in the water

A strong group of five, led by Lauren Brandon, pulled away over the first half of the swim, as the American led the charge at the front of the race and was joined by Fenella Langridge, Lotte Wilms, Rebecca Clarke and Diana Castillo Franco.

By the end of the 3.8km course, this group had a gap of +3:18 over sixth placed Rachel Olson, with the 2023 podium of Maja Stage Nielsen, Jocelyn McCauley and Matthews four minutes back in eighth, ninth and tenth.

Further back, two-time IRONMAN Champion and home favourite Alice Alberts was +5:33 down, with Australian Slater in 12th place, +7:50 down and with a lot of work to do on the bike and run to get back in contention.

Bike – Wilms and Langridge take charge

Having won her first Ironman title at the end of last year at IRONMAN Western Australia, Langridge was tipped for another top performance in Texas and made her move early in the bike, pushing ahead and breaking everyone but Wilms by the 100km mark.

After dropping Clarke and Brandon, the leading pair pushed on, with the duo holding a +2:30 lead over Clarke at the 115km mark and building that gap as Hannah Berry and McCauley moved up into third and fourth.

Over the closing stages, their lead continued to grow, and by the time they entered transition, third place McCauley was almost five minutes in arrears, with the former champion +4:39 off the front and joined by Berry and Matthews, with Slater and Alberts a further two minutes down.

Matthews, who was forced to serve a five minute drafting penalty on the bike, still looked to be the favourite coming into T2 despite the deficit, and it was now a case of how her calf would hold up on the run after suffering a tear at the Miami T100.

Run – Matthews defends her title

With a sizeable gap to make up, the defending champion quickly got to work, as up front Langridge dropped Wilms and set out at a hot early pace, putting almost a minute into Wilms by the 9.2km mark.

Three minutes down after 9km, Matthews was within a minute of Langridge five kilometres later, as Wilms moved past Langridge before Matthews passed her fellow Brit and reeled in the Dutch pro by the halfway mark.

Taking a conservative approach and walking through the aid stations, Matthews managed the heat and her calf to perfection and built a substantial gap over Wilms in second place, with Langridge falling back as Slater started to make her move for the podium.

Kat Matthews high fives IRONMAN Texas finish line 2023
[Photo credit: Kyle Rivas / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

Holding on for a memorable win, the PTO World #12 made it back-to-back victories in the Lone Star State, as Slater moved up into second to take a well deserved podium, with Wilms rewarded for her tenacity with a third place finish.

IRONMAN Texas – North American Championship 2024

Saturday April 27, 2022 – 3.8km / 180km / 42.2km

PRO Women

  • 1. Kat Matthews (GBR) – 8:42:22
  • 2. Penny Slater (AUS) – 8:44:36
  • 3. Lotte Wilms (NED) – 8:46:59
  • 4. Hannah Berry (NZL) – 8:50:50
  • 5. Alice Alberts (USA) – 8:53:33
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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