Comeback Time in Kona
Matt Russell was riding down the Queen K last year when a minivan was directed to cross the road ahead of him. The American hit the van at close to 50 km/h, sustaining some major injuries. Russell returned from hospital here in Hawaii to a household that had, just a few weeks earlier, welcomed a baby girl to the family. His wife was also going through some health issues, making the family situation more than a little challenging as Russell tried to recover from his injuries.
Russell finished third at Ironman Mont-Tremblant in August, which left him just short of the required points to qualify for the Ironman World Championship, but received a special invite from Ironman CEO Andrew Messick to attend the race. Russell more than lived up to that invitation – he finished sixth, just four seconds behind the fifth-place finisher, New Zealand’s Braden Currie.
A few days before last year’s Ironman World Championship, Great Britain’s Tim Don was in a bike accident and broke his neck. He would spend much of the next few months with a halo screwed into his skull to keep his vertebrae aligned as he recovered from the accident. Don returned to racing by completing the Boston Marathon in April and started racing triathlon events in June with a win at Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica and a ninth-place finish at Ironman Hamburg. Don returned to the Big Island and was an emotional favourite with the fans along the course. He finished the race in 8:45:17.
Tim Don crosses the finishline after an emotional comeback to racing OPPOSTITE TOP Lionel Sanders