Rock Springs’ Matt Hanson Wins Midwest Toughest Mudder Race

Local athlete, Matt Hanson (center), won the Regional Toughest Mudder race over the weekend in Minnesota.

MINNESOTA — Local resident and school counselor, Matt Hanson, competed in the 2019 Midwest Toughest Mudder Race in Minnesota over the weekend. Hanson, who is known for his competitive and profound races, took first place in the race out of 327 runners from the United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom.

Hanson began the 12-hour overnight race on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. and finished near 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning. He completed twelve laps which equated to 60 miles. The race also featured over 200 total obstacles that he overcame. He clocked in at 11:18:07 which beat out second place by 19:15.

“The Toughest Midwest was definitely a hard fought battle,” Hanson said. “I was only 20 minutes ahead of second place when I hit a wall at mile 50. I was able to finish up 10 more miles and hold first place through force of will and some caffeine.”

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Assisting him during the race was fellow counselor, Courtney Grote, who crewed Hanson throughout the night. Hanson recognized Grote’s important hand that attributed to his win by forcing him to eat during the 12-hour race.

“When I run these [races] I often stop eating and she forced me to keep eating which played a big role,” Hanson said.

Hanson has been a competitor in a handful of Tough Mudder races throughout his athletic career. From dropping out due to hypothermia to finishing in the top five, Sunday’s first place finish in Minnesota was special.

“I knew I couldn’t stop, I wanted to take home first place for two reasons,” Hanson said. “First, the midwest is where I grew up and I felt like I was defending my home. Second, in 2012 I ran the Twin Cities Tough mudder as my first ever Tough Mudder and ran over three miles. I really wanted to return to that course and take home the win. It was painful, but I’ve been in pain before and it would have been a lot more painful to quit.”

SweetwaterNOW has written a featured article and recorded a podcast with Matt Hanson which can be found here.