Ranking

#31

Points

83.35

AUS

Matt Burton

Birthplace

Perth

Australia

Height

6’1

185cm

Age / DOB

33

Jan 20 1988

AUS

Matt Burton

Birthplace

Perth

Australia

Height

6’1

185cm

Age / DOB

33

Jan 20 1988

Biography

Matt Burton

When asked what he is most proud of, Matt Burton gives a two-part answer.

“My sub-eight-hour time at home in IRONMAN Western Australia. And receiving the call in October 2017, after four years of uncertainty, that I actually had a broken sacrum and knowing the back pain wasn’t in my head.”

The two are inextricably linked and underline what a challenging journey it had been to clocking that 7:55:40 at Busselton in late 2019.

For the majority of Matt’s professional career had been blighted by those back problems which, despite multiple visits to various specialists, took so long to be correctly diagnosed.

He had got into triathlon “after a friend bought me an entry for my 21st birthday” (which was in 2009), and he was good right away.

In his very first IRONMAN he only just missed out on age-group qualification for Kona. But it didn’t take him long to book his ticket to Hawaii, and he made the most of it by topping the 18-24 standings in both 2011 and 2012.

Soon after, and having taken out his professional licence, injury issues started to blight his races and limit his training load. Things came to a head in late 2017 when he pulled out of Barcelona, completing only the swim. He returned home wondering whether his career was over.

Finally there was some light at the end of the tunnel though when a full-body MRI and set of CT scans through his pelvis confirmed a broken sacrum.

It meant nearly six months of just swimming before a re-scan showed the healing process was going well, and that allowed him to re-introduce running. And then cycling.

There were encouraging top-four results when he started racing again, but some frustrations too as he missed out on a Kona place by just one spot on three separate occasions.

Two years after his injury had finally been diagnosed came that life-affirming result at Western Australia when he was second to Alistair Brownlee. Not only did he break the eight-hour mark, but he also claimed a first qualification for the World Championship in Kona as a pro.

Although he’ll have to wait a little longer to realise his dream of returning to the Big Island for the first time since his age-group days, he knows better than most the value of patience and perseverance.

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