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Rewire Athletes Conquer the Ironman Des Moines

Matt Hanson is a Rewire Athlete and Sports Performance Advisor. This professional triathlete and coach was named one of the top contenders for the Ironman Des Moines and gave it his all to grab the title of 2022 Certified Piedmontese Beef IRONMAN North American Championship Des Moines men’s winner. Matt crossed the finish line far ahead of the rest with a time of 7:56:48, leaving Andre Lopes in second place with 2:39 minutes more on his time. Another Rewire Athlete, Timothy O’Donnell, snatched third place with +13:19 minutes with a strong swim time.

Matt charged through the start line and pushed hard to build the initial gap. He said that he definitely overbiked but that it was intentional in order to get a gap on the run. “I didn’t plan on losing the gap like I did in the end,” Matt confessed.

According to MSN, this result shows that Matt “might finally have the resume to post a top-five finish” at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, the most prestigious Ironman race in the world. Despite finishing the race “on fumes”, his sixth Ironman win was special as it was in front of so many friends and family.

In 2021, Sun Sachs (co-founder and CEO of Rewire) and Ed Gibbins (co-founder and product leader of Rewire) interviewed Matt Hanson on Rewire’s Fitness Podcast. They explored Matt’s journey from being a professor in exercise science to a professional triathlete competing at the highest level.

“Nose to the ground and being able to push through. When you hear the word resilience, you think of a fighter. Someone who is able to weather the storm and keep pushing through.” – Matt Hanson

A prime example of resilience and mental fitness is the story of Timothy, which was covered on the Rewire Fitness Podcast. In 2021, Timothy nearly died from a heart attack where, according to the New York Times, the “trauma care specialist called the resuscitation team and told it to stay close”.

“That’s where the mind-set of the athlete kicked in. Just put negativity out of the mind and focus on surviving.” – Timothy O’Donnell

After a challenging year of rehabilitation, Timothy was ready to race again. However, his racing career remained a benefit of improving his health and not the main goal. For him and his wife, Mirinda Carfrae, the aim was to “get him healthy so he could live a long and healthy life”. More than the physical, it was the mental fitness that was an intricate struggle. On the podcast with Sun and Ed, Timothy emphasised the importance of mental resilience. He said that there are so many variables that you can’t control, so you have to let go of the external things you can’t control and find yourself and focus on your resilience. It’s about being okay with the cards in your hand, the cards that you were dealt, and focusing on what you can do.

“I asked myself: how can I be the best athlete considering the circumstances? And I just got to work.” – Timothy O’Donnel

“I got it out of my mind and got to work. I’m not going to do it by thinking of doing it. I’m going to do it by executing and thinking about the little things I have to do during the race to achieve that goal.” – Timothy O’Donnell

#9 – Fergus Crawley, Hybrid Athlete and Coach – Redefining Mental and Physical Strength in Sport

On this podcast, Sun and Ed discuss with Fergus some of his crazy challenges, including Project Vertical, where Fergus scaled the height of Everest three times over 11 days; and 500FIVE, where Fergus achieved a sub-5-minute mile, 500lb Squat and Marathon all in the same day. We explore the mental and physical resilience needed to tackle these challenges and some of the most challenging moments of them. We also discuss Fergus’ Movember projects and his personal journey with mental health.

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#8 – Timothy O’Donnell, World Champion Triathlete – Achieving longevity in sport through balance

On this podcast, the Rewire team discuss with Tim his journey to being a world-class professional triathlete. We dive into how he has managed his training and recovery to achieve a long and successful career.  We also hear from Tim about his recent heart attack which he experienced during a triathlon at Challenge Miami and how he has recovered since.

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#7 – Ben Kanute, Olympian and Professional Triathlete – The Mental Demands of Triathlon

On this episode, the Rewire Team discuss with Ben the mental demands of competing on the world stage, as well as some of the ways he trains, recovers and monitors his mind and body in preparation for a race to ensure that he’s ready to perform. We dive into Ben’s journey to where he is today, as well as his obsession with some of triathlon’s hardest and most unique races, like Escape from Alcatraz. 

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Ben Kanute wins Escape from Alcatraz 2021

Rewire Athlete Ben Kanute finished as the first athlete home at the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon yesterday, leading a field containing more than 1500 athletes.

Returning to the San Francisco-based event after a pandemic-enforced hiatus in 2020, Kanute came to California searching for his fourth consecutive title, having improved on a 3rd place in his first appearance in 2016 to win each edition from 2017 onwards.

Contesting the win and $25,000 prize pot with seven other pros, the American fought for the win over a course featuring a 1.5 mile swim in the San Francisco Bay, and waterfront bike and run legs lasting 18 miles and 8 miles respectively.

Starting with an iconic leap from the San Francisco Belle, the swim leg saw Kanute enter the first transition 46 seconds back of fellow pro Greg Harper, sitting in second with a time of 33:16.

Showing strong leg speed out of the water, the Rio Olympian pushed through a half mile long swim-to-bike transition to halve the gap to Harper, and pull further away from the chasing pack behind ahead of the bike leg.

On a hilly and technical route that took athletes along the leafy San Francisco coastline, Kanute took the lead from Harper and never relinquished it, completing the 18 mile loop in 46:50 to lead by 49 seconds going into the bike-to-run transition.

Eventual third-place finisher Bradley Weiss had made up 11 seconds on Kanute through the bike leg, but the gap stretched to over a minute after T2, where the Arizona-based athlete again was the best performer of the professional field.

Despite the benefit of a buffer of 1:07 from second place, and over two minutes’ gap to the remainder of the pro field, Kanute needed no such advantage on the run leg, as he put together the fastest run leg of the pro field in 45:44.

The result was a convincing one, and Kanute was rewarded with a finish time of 2:10:11 (and a top prize of $10,000) for his efforts, more than two minutes ahead of second place.

That second place was taken by Jason West, who also performed well on the run leg. The world #95 put together an 8 mile time just two seconds slower than Kanute’s to finish second (2:12:16) ahead of a fading Bradley Weiss in third (2:12:41).

Next up for the US international is the Collins Cup later this month, where fellow he and fellow Rewire Athlete Matt Hanson will take the best the rest of the world has to offer, in the form of combined European and International teams, over a course that consists of a 2 kilometre swim, 80 kilometre bike, and 18 kilometre run.

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