Telegraph story details Tim Don’s arduous journey back from broken neck; training for Boston Marathon

In this story from the Telegraph, Tim Don’s story of recovery from being hit on the bike just days before last year’s IRONMAN World Championship is detailed, including the five holes drilled into his head for his halo device.

Read about Tim Don’s life-threatening crash in Kona HERE

From the Telegraph

Tim Don: how the fastest ever Ironman shook off a broken neck to keep on running

In October 2017, Tim Don was cycling in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii, one of the southernmost islands in the secluded American state. The British athlete was putting the finishing touches on months of training ahead of the biggest race of his career: the Ironman World Championship.

But Don, a three-time Olympic triathlete, didn’t get to take part in that race in Hawaii. Three days before the big day, while cycling along a designated lane, he was t-boned by a car turning into a petrol station. Thirty minutes later Don woke up on his way to hospital with a broken neck. It was a day before his daughter’s birthday; he feared he might never compete again.

But there’s definitely something setting athletes apart – particularly those of extreme sports or extreme distances. While most would take as long as possible to recover, Don had itchy feet within days. Despite the pain, and against doctors’ advice, he was back on the exercise bike within three weeks. “The screws kept coming loose”, he explains. “They had to keep screwing them back into my skull. One came loose so many times it was making a big indentation. They were worried they’d puncture the skull.” And then, the understatement of the century: “It’s pretty intense”.

Just four months on, Don is training for the Boston Marathon in April, with the ultimate goal of realising his dream in Hawai’i this year…


2017 IRONMAN World Championships Kona – Bill Plock’s Tri Hearter Recap


By Bill Plock

I’m struggling to know what to share with you. There is so much. So much. Joy. Triumph. Sadness. Perseverance. Grit. Guts. Tenacity. The list is super long!

The results of the Ironman World Championships are not measured by a clock, or a place on a podium or by a Garmin. They are measured by smiles, tears and hugs. By racing and watching this race, we make huge deposits in the experience bank of our souls that serve us later in life.

Colorado’s Vicki Derrick and Jamie Twedt

It’s hard to share an epic event like this without using a cliche. I need to remember that to “narrow your focus broadens your appeal” and as one of the eyes and ears of 303triathlon, my “job” is to share with you and try to find relativity in this ocean of stories. Imagine you are on the pier and 2,400 boats appear on the horizon intending to land. Each one from a different place, maybe a different continent, maybe even from a country you didn’t know existed. Each boat carries stories and dreams and some are captained alone but most come with a crew. But they all have one goal. To finish.

Being in Kona for race week is like being on a captive island of history and tradition drawing these boats in like a compass faces north. The triathlon world focuses here for the week. Even if the Ironman distance is not your race of choice, the challenge of the sport clearly radiates here. Experts and those in the industry greet all of these boats, and in our case meeting legends like Bob Babbitt and Mike Reilly to share the history and meaning of this race just make the landing that much richer.

D3 Multisport’s Simon Butterworth, on his way to winning his age group

I encourage you to listen to those interviews to gain a true perspective on what happens here and what HAS happened here. What I have learned, and continue to learn each time I am here, is that to know the history, and to respect the race is essential to understand its epic nature.

With the focus on Colorado and our saturation of this race with 54 athletes toeing the line we have a lot share—and a lot to be thankful for. It feels like family. With all those boats landing and people scurrying everywhere, to latch on to a familiar smile, to know just a few stories is like finding a life preserver in rough unknown waters.

303 Ambassador Todd Plymale-Mallory encourages Andy Potts

We at 303 see ourselves as a bridge to you. A place where you can see what happens when your friends and loved ones landed here with 2,346 other athletes. Yes some came here to win it all, and our local pro, Andy Potts, was the first American across the line. We in Colorado have a lot to be proud of.

The other 53 athletes persevered. We tried to share moments of each of their journeys and for any we may have missed, it wasn’t for lack of trying. And you made Colorado proud and it was such an honor to share your journey with our readers and subscribers a few thousand miles away. Even with technology of instant connectivity, it’s the intangible flow of like-minded energy and a love of this sport and a love of every journey we encountered, that hopefully rushed at the speed of light into your hearts. We hope you felt what we did, and sharing that and feeling such a wonderful community in Colorado at the “Super Bowl” of triathlon is what makes being at this race epic.

Be proud 303 Nation. We have the most amazing triathlon community in the world.

303Tri asks, Are U.S. Triathletes “too cool for school” when it comes to Kona Parade of Nations?

By Khem Suthiwan

What’s Up With American Triathletes?

For anyone who has raced, volunteered, or spectated at the IRONMAN World Championship, you know that being there is quite the experience. From the Kona Underpants Run and Dig Me swim out to the coffee boat, there are a handful of Kona traditions.

One of the long-standing traditions is the Parade of Nations.

Much like the one from the Olympics, athletes from all over the world band together in solidarity representing their countries. Some show organized efforts with clever t-shirts and themed costumes. Year after year, the countries with large and proud turnouts include Great Britain, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

So the question is, why did the United States with 751 athletes (largest of all countries) only had 40 show up to the Parade of Nations this year? Did 711 athletes think it was “too cool for school” to be part of this iconic Kona tradition?

What do you think?

303Radio Interviews Bob Babbitt: The Heart of Ironman

The “Heart of Ironman,” Bob Babbitt talks about Ironman racing from its inception – day one when he ate hamburgers and fries and prepared for it to be a 2 day event–he didn’t know it was supposed to be a one day event. He paid $25 to race on his bike with a raccoon skin seat cover and Hawaiian sweet bread stuffed in his pocket. He shared some great stories in a way only Bob can do. Have a listen and see how this history fueled his passion that later paved the way to his greatest passion, that of heading the Challenged Athlete Foundation. You will feel inspired listening to this. He has lived it, and loved it, and given his heart to this sport.

Kona Recap by 303’s 719 Rep Nicole

(Originally published on

I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to travel with 303Triathlon to the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. While it was a “working trip,” that work was about reporting on the event experience. In order to do that, I had to participate in as much as I could!

There was a lot packed into my week there, so I’ll share the highlights, observations, and some general thoughts on the experience.

  • I treasured the opportunity to swim in Kailua Bay. This is the starting point of an event that tests even the best of athletes. In addition to it being a beautiful swim, to know that the legends of the past, present, and future swim here is inspiring.
Athletes doing a practice swim at the starting point of IRONMAN World Championships in Kona,.
Where it all starts. Dig Me Beach in Kailua-Kona.


  • The athletes that get here put in a tremendous amount of work to do so. The commitment to do what it takes to be in the IRONMAN World Championships can be applied to any aspect of your life.
Athletes in transition making final preps before the race start of the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship
Athletes in transition making final preps before the race start
  • It is truly an international event, and great to see where everyone is from in the Parade of Nations. 64 countries were represented this year, including a female from Iran. Walking around the streets of Kona you hear many different languages.
German athletes in the Parade of Nations at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships.
The Germans may have been the most enthusiastic bunch!
Two athletes from Iran, in the Parade of Nations at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships, including the first ever female.
Two Iranian athletes in the Parade of Nations
  • There is a lot of tradition in this event. It’s an opportunity to learn about Hawaiian culture in addition to racing. And eat some new foods. The way tradition and ritual is built into the event makes it more than just another championship race.

    • There are educational opportunities in addition to social activities. (It’s possible to do too much, but if you choose events and rest times carefully, you can make it work!)

Dana, Coach Nicole, and Michelle of at the thank God I'm Not Racing Party hosted by Bob Babbitt

Dana, Coach Nicole, and Michelle at the Thank God I’m Not Racing Party with our medals!

    • There are different levels of athletes racing here. I’m sure there were a few exceptions, but it seemed everyone was thankful and appreciative that they had the opportunity to race on the big island.
Patrick Lange celebrates with the crowd at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships after coming in 3rd.
Patrick Lange celebrates with the crowd after coming in 3rd place
    • Volunteers are critical for this event. Thousands of them! They didn’t seem to mind getting up at 3am or standing out in the heat for long periods of time. Without volunteers there couldn’t be an event.
One of the many volunteers needed for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships.
One of the many transition volunteers
  • The energy of the finish line is incredible. People stay and cheer for hours, all the way until the final finisher crosses the line.


  • My final thoughts: Work hard for what you want, play hard, and be sure to enjoy the opportunities that come your way.
Coach Nicole and the team taking a lunch break at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships
Coach Nicole and the team

Kona Thursday – 24 hour recap: Prep for Ironman World Championships

media60 Seconds in Kona! Today D3 athlete Brian Lambert hits the hot Hawaiian pavement for one last workout… Check out the video!

303’s Nicole Odell took an in-depth look at the Stryd running power meter, participating in a practice run Tuesday morning and then sitting in on a panel conference yesterday – check out her story on this revolutionary new device that is changing how athletes run, around the world.

Our Colorado Athletes in Kona series features our EIGHT D3 Multisport contenders!

Colorado’s favorite Honey Badger – Mary Beth Ellis – announced she is retiring, to “raise some honey badger cubs.”

303’s Khem Suthiwan continues to add Celebrity Selfies to her star-studded Facebook album – take a look!

Cobb Cycling held an event just for women, addressing the fine line between aggressive position and comfort… Cobb says you can have it all. 303’s Nicole Odell reports.

The Pro Panel opened with a “State of Ironman” address by Andrew Messick, who told us this year brings the largest field of women for Kona at 30%. This press event brought together pro athletes Daniela Ryf, Mirinda Carfrae, Julia Gajer, Heather Jackson, Melissa Hauschildt, Kaisa Lehtonen, Sebastian Kienle, Brent McMahon, Tim O’Donell, Andy Potts, and Tim Van Berkel. Check out the Facebook Live videos – lots of fun banter among the men: “I’ve missed him (Sebastian Kienle) all year. I’ve had to pay for my own dinners…” – Jan Frodeno. #bromance #IRONMAN

303 Ambassador Mercedes DiCarli was featured in the local media!

Photos have been added to our Facebook Race Week album, including stills from the pro panel, exclusive shots with Rinny from last night, and assembly of the finish line.

Training Peaks has made their pro bike split predictions – be sure to check this article, as it has lots of weather, wind and course info.

Be sure to read yesterday’s recap capturing the last week of pre-race activity!