Come­back Time in Kona

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Ironman World Championship -

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

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