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Hanson’s day began with a 51:46 swim and progressed to a 4th-best 4:13:53 bike split that put him in 4th place, 14:48 behind Andrew Starykowicz’s kamikaze bike split. On his way to a 2nd-fastest 2:42:07 marathon, Hanson passed Butterfield and Antony Costes before assuming the lead.
Schildknecht, a 9-time Ironman Switzerland winner, combined a 53:34 swim, a 4:14:40 bike split, and a 3rd-best 2:43:28 marathon to finish in 7:56:21. Tyler Butterfield combined a 49:08 swim, a 4:15:20 bike split and a 2:49:00 marathon to finish in 7:58:29.
Will Clarke of Great Britain ran a race-best 2:42:01 marathon to take 4th place, 33 seconds behind Butterfield and 30 seconds ahead of 5th place Kirill Kotsegerov, who became the first Estonian to break the 8 hour mark.
After a courageous solo attack which featured a 49:15 swim and a dazzling 4:01:14 bike split to carve out a 13:04 lead on Antony Costes at T2, Andrew Starykowicz finally ran out of gas 14 miles into the run and ran an honorable 3:58:07 survival slog to finish 25th overall.
The win was Hanson’s second at The Woodlands. In 2015, Hanson’s 8:07:03 winning time was a race record.