Kat Matthews says IRONMAN Kona DNF is still raw but vows to return better than ever in 2025

Kat Matthews looks back on the highs and lows of her rollercoaster season in 2023.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Having had her opportunity to race on the Big Island taken away from her so cruelly in 2022, there was a tremendous amount of expectation for the Kona debut of Kat Matthews in 2023.

Unfortunately for the British star, things didn’t go her way on race day and after an emotional DNF, the pain of the experience still hasn’t quite passed.

Reflecting on that race, Matthews was able to state confidently that she will be back better than ever in 2025 whilst looking back positively on some of the high points from a rollercoaster year.

“There are still some question marks”

After being hit by a car and hospitalised with a number of serious injuries just before Kona in 2022, it was a remarkable achievement for Matthews just to have qualified for last year’s edition.

Kat Matthews at the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona
Kat Matthews at the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona

Just six months after the collision, the 32-year-old won IRONMAN Texas in her second race back and went on to have a brilliant block of races leading into the IRONMAN World Championship.

In Kona, however, things didn’t go to plan, with the former British Army physio admitting that there are still some unanswered questions on her part about what went wrong.

“Kona…it still hurts. There are still some question marks here that honestly I am not yet comfortable/capable of explaining.

“I have asked for help and I am confident that when the opportunity arrives in 2025 I will be able to perform.”


“Lahti was my favourite experience”

On a more positive note, there was plenty of reasons to celebrate last season for Matthews, with the PTO World #6 sharing some of her favourite racing moments.

Kat Matthews runs down the red carpet to second place (Photo by Nigel Roddis, Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Kat Matthews is moving up the rankings [Photo credit: Nigel Roddis, Getty Images for IRONMAN]

“Finishing third at Oceanside after a period of recovery was uniquely special, not comparable to a usual performance satisfaction experience.

“Winning IRONMAN Texas was a big confidence boost but coming second at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Lahti was my favourite experience of 2023.

“Competing on a world stage is different. I think it is why I am keen to do the T100 Series [in 2024] but my main goal is still the IRONMAN World Champs.”

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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