Update from Matt Russell

From Matt’s Instagram: (@mattrusselltri)

Feeling very grateful today. God truly gave me another chance in life.
I have my family, I can walk, the sharpness of my mind is starting to come back. I am physically and very emotionally hurt and shaken up but thankful for so many things. You can not see in the photo but I have stitches on the side of my neck over 7 inches long which was life threatening. Thank you for all of the people that were at the scene that quickly responded to me as I would not be here if it wasn’t for you. Always nice to have my friend and now Ironman World Champ @PatrickLange come visit me. Congrats to all on the day and remember each day truly is a gift from God. Thank you all for the support and even donating. I’m sure everyone has lots of questions but right now I’m going to spend my time with my family and recovering. I’ll try keep everyone updated on this as much as I can. Each day is truly a gift from God.

Matt Russell Update

From Slowtwitch

Fellow American pro Jesse Thomas was riding behind Matt Russell and witnessed the accident.

“He had just caught me about 5-10 min before and was in front of me heading back into town from Mauna Lani at that first intersection that leads to Waikoloa,” said Thomas to Slowtwitch. “Tailwind section, haven’t looked but I’m guessing we were going well over 30mph, he was pushing hard. I saw a truck start to cross the intersection and thought, ‘that’s cutting it way too close’, then the next moment a van pulled out behind the truck to try to cross as well. It looked like the crossing guard was animated in some way, either trying to wave the van quickly through or trying to get it to stop, but I couldn’t tell what was happening in the brief moments it all went down. I sat up immediately and yelled “oh fuck!” Matt saw it too and sat up and hit his brakes but had probably less than a second to do so and the van was too wide to miss from his angle. He went straight into the side of it nearly full speed. Super loud crash, looked like bike parts shattering, etc…

Read the full story

UPDATE from Triathlete Magazine:

Matt Russell’s wife, Gillian has shared this statement on Matt’s condition with us:

At this time, Matt remains in the hospital and he is getting the care he desperately needs.

Since the accident, Matt has had multiple procedures and surgeries to address the life threatening injuries he suffered Saturday.

While Matt is resting more comfortably than yesterday we are not out of the woods yet as Matt’s doctors remain concerned with the magnitude and severity of his concussion and vascular injuries.

Matt loves to race and I know he will want to get back when he’s able. However, it’s way too early to know if and when that may happen.

At this point we just want Matt home. Home with me and his newborn son – it’s going to take months of intense rehab to get him prepared for everyday life – and frankly the sooner we can get started the better.

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?

New reality TV show Quest for Kona hits the airwaves

From Endurance Business

Beginning this week, IRONMAN’s new reality TV show Quest for Kona, which features 10 age-group athletes’ qualifying journeys, will air on NBC Sports in the US and Red Bull TV internationally – with the series beginning on 4 October 2017.

Confirmed at the beginning of this year, with finalists for the show selected in March, the Quest for Kona TV series will profile ten triathletes from around the world as they embark on their journey to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.

Throughout the series, IRONMAN notes that the ‘athletes will evolve physically and emotionally as they pursue the goal of competing among the best in the world.’

Each episode features ‘one charismatic and engaging contender’ as they take on a specific IRONMAN qualifying event, capturing the scenery, local culture and unique athletic challenges that each setting presents. While not every athlete may ultimately qualify, each episode will aim to show that ‘IRONMAN is about persevering, enduring and being a part of something larger than themselves, proving that Anything is Possible.’

The Quest for Kona show will air on NBC Sports Network (available in the US) and on Red Bull TV available internationally, outside of the US.

Episode 1: Oct 4 – 16:30 – Grace Stevens (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Episode 2: Oct 15 – 16:30 – Roberto de Souza Vieira (Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil)
Episode 3: Oct 18 – noon – Andrew Jamieson (Cairns, Queensland, Australia)
Episode 4: Oct 25 – noon – Heather Jensen (Vineyard, Utah, United States)
Episode 5: Nov 1 – noon – AJ Lane (Hampshire, England, United Kingdom)
Episode 6: Nov 8 – noon – Adam Hill (San Clemente, California, United States)
Episode 7: Nov 11 – noon – Eric Beach (Georgetown, Kentucky, United States)
Episode 8: Nov 22 – noon – Susanne Vanzijl (Elkton, Maryland, United States)
Episode 9: Nov 29 – noon – Rupert Chen (Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia)
Episode 10: Dec 6 – noon – Maria ‘Flaca’ Guerrero (Dallas, Texas, United States)

Kona Recap by 303’s 719 Rep Nicole

(Originally published on http://neoendurancesports.com)

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 303triathlon.com 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 303triathlon.com team taking a lunch break at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championships
Coach Nicole and the 303Triathlon.com team

60 Seconds in Kona Day 8: D3 Multisport hits the road

Join Brian Lambert of D3 Multisport as he hits the hot Hawaiian pavement for one last training session…

Brian qualified at Ironman Coeur d’Alene. This will be his second IRONMAN World Championship.

Presented by: D3 MultiSport

Video by 303’s Kenny Withrow

Watch previous episodes:

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 7

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 6

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 5

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 4

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 3

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 2

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 1