(with apologies to Enid Blyton)
This year Ironman Kona has an amazing list of professional athletes that have suffered major injuries, in, at, or racing or training for Ironman events.
Matt Russell was involved in an accident with a van on the course during the race in Kona last year, suffering near life and career ending injuries. Matt is on the list for this year.
Micheal Weiss aka Michi crashed in the 2017 Edition of Ironman 70.3 Campeche when a 13-year old boy ran across the bike course, Michi makes the list.
Andrew Starykowicz aka Starky who was hit and dragged under a truck while out training in 2016 and is the man they love to chase on the bike. Andrew is on the list.
Terenzo Bozzone who like Starky, suffered serious face, hand and arm injuries in a crash while training in New Zealand. Bozzone is on the list.
Tim Don. Tim, with whom I've shared some of my biggest triathlon races, by which I mean, coincidentally, he was racing at the same race. Tim was also involved in a major crash with a vehicle just before Kona 2018. At the time of the crash, Tim was the owner of the Worlds fastest Ironman time.
Good luck to all these guys, and the countless age groupers that will be racing Kona that have overcome a major injury or illness. The fact that any of these men are racing is truly remarkable, the fact they qualified is truly an awesome accomplishment. For the record, I couldn't find a single female professional racing in Kona who'd had a major accident in the past 2-years, this is one male achievement the women shouldn't aim for equality with. #50womentokona
Of these, I've paid more interest in Tim Dons recovery. Not just because Tim is a Brit', and because we've raced at many of the same races, but also he is for now, also local, here in Boulder. I can remember seeing Tim on a rainy Thursday course ride around the Milton Keynes Olympic distance course back in 2000., we'd ridden and were sitting in the small cafe drinking hot tea, and a head of curly hair passed by the window, it was Tim now going out on a run.
I was also at the 2001 ITU World Championships in Edmonton, Canada, where Tim raced, as well as the 2002 Worlds' in Cancun, Mexico when he raced, and more recently at the 2017 Boulder 70.3 where he won. Since his crash, we've jogged behind Tim on his return to running, in March 2018; attended the premiere of the film about him since the accident, The Man with the Hallo.
Tim doesn't have a perfect record. During his time as a short course professional while a short course professional he was twice suspended/banned for missing drug tests, he has also has his race failures, most especially the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he DNF'd.
However, after his accident, Tim deserves to have a great Kona. Here are a few pictures, and videos, if you have not seen the Man with the Halo, grab a cuppa, and be amazed.
My slo-mo video of Tim winning 2017 Ironman Boulder 70.3