Tri Club Tuesday: D3 Athlete competes at IRONMAN World Championships after serious waterskiing injury

From Livewell Nebraska
By Kelsey Stewart

 

When Steve Nabity first took up triathlon training, he didn’t know how to swim, and he didn’t own a road bike.

The 61-year-old has since put six Ironman competitions under his belt. He made it to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii last year, but a stomach bug hindered his performance. In October, Nabity returned to Hawaii to compete against more than 2,000 athletes in the sport’s iconic event.

Swimming and cycling were the Omaha man’s best options after he sustained a serious waterskiing injury.

Four years ago, Nabity and a group of friends were waterskiing in Tennessee. The then 57-year-old hadn’t been on the water in a few years, but he felt confident. When the boat started moving, Nabity attempted to stand up on his skis.

Instead of gracefully slaloming across the water, Nabity ended up doing the splits. Above the sound of the boat and water, he heard a ripping sound, like a piece of paper being torn.

His friends pulled Nabity from the water. By the time they got back to the dock, Nabity had fainted from the pain. Since they were in rural Tennessee, it took over an hour for an ambulance to arrive. When it did, paramedics decided to have Nabity life-flighted to the nearest hospital.

Doctors didn’t realize the scope of the injury until Nabity returned to Omaha. He had torn all three hamstring tendons off the bone of his right leg.

After surgery, Nabity spent six weeks in a brace. Unable to bend his legs, he spent his time either standing or resting flat on a recliner. He graduated to walking carefully. Leg and hamstring lifts during physical therapy helped rebuild his strength. Doctors encouraged Nabity to pick up low-impact exercises such as swimming and bicycling. “Those are for wimps,” he told them.

But when Nabity, CEO of Accu- Quilt, cheered on his son during an Ironman race in Idaho, it set things in motion.

His goal: make it to the race series’ marquee event in Kona, Hawaii, before he turned 80. The full-distance race consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.

“You never know what’s going to happen on your path or your journey,” Nabity said. “This probably is not the way I would have started out with Ironman. You’re doing life and a curve ball happens. All you can do is control your effort.”

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Pro Qualifying for IRONMAN 140.6 and 70.3 World Championships returns to Slot-Based Allocations for 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (December 20, 2017) – Beginning with the 2019 qualifying year for both the IRONMAN® World Championship and IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship, the KPR and 70.3PR will no longer be used as the qualifying systems for the professional field. The current points-based system will be replaced by and return to a slot qualifying system. The change aligns with the global age-group system with qualifying slots being allocated to IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events on the global pro calendar for the respective world championship races.

The guaranteed base slot allocations will be equal for both male and female professional athletes, with additional slots being allocated and distributed to events based on the number of professional starters. The Regional Championship events will be assigned the greatest number of qualifying slots of any event on the pro circuit. Each qualifying IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 event will have at a minimum one men’s and one women’s professional slot.

For the global 2019 IRONMAN professional calendar, the number of IRONMAN World Championship slots is expected to be approximately 100, similar to the current total allocation. Based upon the global 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 professional calendar, the current two-day format of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship could allow for up to 170 professional athletes split between the days.

The five-year World Champion exemption will remain in effect, with the addition of a one-year exemption for IRONMAN World Championship podium finishers and a reciprocal exemption invitation to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion. All exemptions remain subject to completion of a validation race and remain additional to the guaranteed allocations to qualifying events.

“Finishing atop the podium at an IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 event is a great accomplishment and the reward for that should be a place at the starting line at the World Championship events,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “The return to the slot system celebrates our champions and IRONMAN host communities around the world and changes the focus squarely back to recognizing great performances on race day. If you win you are in, and athletes will no longer need to calculate how to plan their race schedule to qualify.”

Qualifying for the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i will begin on September 9, 2018 with slots being awarded at IRONMAN Wisconsin and IRONMAN Wales.

Qualifying for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France will begin on July 8, 2018 with slots being awarded at IRONMAN 70.3 Jönköping and IRONMAN 70.3 Ecuador.

The KPR and 70.3PR Pro qualifying systems remain in effect with respect to qualifying for the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship and 2018 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship.

Casting for Season Two of “IRONMAN: QUEST FOR KONA” Now Open

Series to run in 2018 through top international broadcasters; Casting submissions open until February 1, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. (December 15, 2017) — IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today that applications for the second season of “IRONMAN: Quest for Kona”, are now being accepted globally.

The series, which just finished airing its first full season on NBCSN and Red Bull TV to positive reviews, is scheduled to air in 2018 and will profile ten athletes from around the world as they embark on their journey to qualifying for the most iconic single-day endurance event, the IRONMAN® World Championship which will take place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on October 13, 2018. Throughout the series, athletes will evolve physically and emotionally as they pursue the goal of competing among the best in the world.

“We are excited to embark on our search for the next set of IRONMAN competitors who are willing to share their stories of dedication and perseverance in working toward their ultimate goal – qualifying for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship,” said Christopher Stadler, Chief Marketing Officer of IRONMAN. “I am confident that we are going to have another cast of remarkable athletes looking to share their extraordinary and awe-inspiring stories.”

Each episode will feature one charismatic and engaging contender as they take on a specific IRONMAN qualifying event, capturing the breathtaking scenery, local culture and unique athletic challenges that each setting presents. While not every athlete may ultimately qualify, each will show that IRONMAN is about persevering, enduring and being a part of something larger than themselves, proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®.

Self-shot footage will be utilized to capture each person’s real-time journey as a supplement to the broadcast content. “IRONMAN: Quest for Kona” takes aspirational athletes and puts their mission front and center, inviting viewers to experience the personal highs and lows of each pursuit. Air dates and channels for each market will be released in the coming months.

Casting for the second season is currently open globally, with the first round of submission due by February 1, 2018. Additional information and casting application is available at www.ironman.com/questforkona.

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. For media related inquiries, please contact press@ironman.com.

Colorado Athletes on Maui: Brett Tack

Brett Tack

I grew up in Two Rivers, Alaska and moved to Colorado for school in 2005. Road racing dominated my collegiate years and through my move to Boulder in 2007. I took to the trails a few years later and never looked back.

 

 

This will be my 3rd time racing in Maui in the past four years. My first Xterra was buffalo creek in 2014, done with zero swim or run training. After focusing on the Leadville 100 that year, my friend Russell basically dared me to come race and it ended with a podium. I ended up getting a worlds slot at Ogden that year and making the quick decision to head to Maui. After a great race, minus the swim, I was hooked and swore I would come back one year and win my age group.

After two injury filled seasons in which I raced maybe 4 races total, and a rather lackluster worlds in 2015, I skipped Maui last year and came into 2017 with a new focus. I teamed up with local boulder company Alchemist, as well as my longtime supporter Breck Bike guides and put together an ambitions plan to meet the goal I set four years prior.
After suffering in the heat and humidity, but getting my first age group win in Alabama, I went to Beaver Creek and won the amateur title. Ogden’s course is probably one of my favorite, and I went in with high hopes to win the amateur title. It was a great battle between great competitors! And in the end, while I did get my nationals AG win, I missed the top amateur by one spot. Props to Tate Haugen!!

 

 

While my build up hasn’t been ideal, it never is. I was sick prior to nationals, and I dealt with a knee injury that kept me off the bike prior to worlds. It’s easy to stress about these things, but in the end, everyone has to deal with similar setbacks. I still head to Maui next week with the goal of competing with the best amateurs in the world. At the end of the day, the Maui course is a different beast, and no matter your preparation, race day can throw curve ball after curve ball.

Weekend Preview: XTERRA, IRONMAN, CX : It’s covered

Triathlon Events

Saturday October 28th

 

IRONMAN Team Colorado Open House

Louisville

 

Join IRONMAN and Team Colorado for a 90 min indoor trainer ride led by IRONMAN and 303 partner, Bill Plock.  Followed by a 30 min outdoor run on the beautiful trails of Louisville.

All are welcome.

If you have an extra trainer to lend for the workout, please bring it.

 

Facebook Event HERE


Sunday October 29th

 

XTERRA World Championships

Kapalua, Maui, Hawai’i

 

Colorado is well represented in Maui again this year with 45 athletes toeing the start line.  We hope everyone has an amazing day!



Cycling Events

Thursday October 26th

 

Amy Charity:  Get on the Other Side of Comfortable

Golden

 


Friday October 27th

 

Pastries on the Path

Boulder


Creepy Treads CX

Grand Junction


Saturday October 28th

 

5th Annual Feedback Cup

Golden


Sunday October 29th

Bandido CX

Parker

Colorado Athletes on Maui: Preston & Colburn

Mike Preston

 

I’m off to my 3rd XWC.  I started triathlon when Xterra came to Crested Butte in ’06 .  After taking a break, I picked it back up on a vacation to Oahu in 2012. I punched my ticket to World’s this year with a trickle down qualifier from Xterra Mexico. I started working with Jenny Smith Coaching thru the gO Initiative to train for Maui. I’m racing the M 45-49 AG and looking to finish in the top half.

 

 


Steve Colburn

 

I grew up in California and joined the ranks of road triathletes in the early 1990s, racing International to Ironman distances through my 20s and 30s, along with marathons, the occasional trail ultrarun, a handful of road races, and half a dozen 12-hour adventure races.

By the time I hit my early 40s, I was feeling a little bored and looking for a new challenge. I enjoyed mountain biking and was decent at the technical stuff, so I got into cyclocross and endurance mountain bike racing for a few years. I loved the added unpredictability and tactics required for off road racing as well as the supportive camaraderie that often seemed missing in road races. With my swimming and running background, bringing all three disciplines together into an off road triathlon played to my experience and strengths and intrigued me.

I did my first Xterra race in 2014 in Buffalo Creek and was immediately hooked. I first qualified for Worlds in 2015, but was unable to go, and in 2016 I was plagued by calf injuries that forced me to miss several races. This year, things came together and I was extremely happy to qualify again. I’m thrilled to have the chance to represent Colorado and the Mountain States Region at the 2017 Xterra World Championships in Maui. The fact that the race falls within a few days of my 50th birthday is an added bonus–and the perfect way to begin my second half century.

Colorado Athletes on Maui: Benny Smith

My name is Benny Smith and I’m 17 years old. I did my first tri when I was 6 and started getting serious with training at like 13. I definitely started doing them because of my dad.

 

This will be my second year going to the Xterra World Championships. I qualified at Xterra Beaver Creek. I’m currently ranked 1st in the country for 19 and under which is pretty sick and I’m grateful to get so many sweet opportunities. I love climbing when cycling and running and I get STOKED when I’m way in the mountains/ocean and snowboarding in waist deep pow!!

Colorado Athletes on Maui: Ryan McMullen

 

This is my 5th season in Xterra and this will be my 2nd trip to the World Championship. I qualified at Beaver Creek (3rd amateur overall) and at the Pan American Championship in Utah (3rd in age group). I have had a very rewarding season and I’m excited to cap things off in HI.

This is the 5 year benchmark of my racing and has had me reminiscing a lot lately. I started this journey with almost no experience in any of the disciplines of triathlon. I grew up riding BMX bikes around the neighborhood, I took a few swim lessons as a kid, and I ran cross country for a couple of years in high school to hang out with the girls. However, I have always had a strong drive to be active and for most of my life basketball was an outlet and a passion of mine. I poured myself into that sport and I’m very grateful for what it gave me in return, but basketball is tough on your body and eventually I had to look for another outlet. At the same time I was struggling with some old lifestyle habits that were essentially killing me both physically and emotionally.

 

 

The turning point for me was this very clear moment when I realized that my two little girls weren’t going to have their dad around for very much longer if I wasn’t willing to change who I was and what I was doing. So I started making some small positive changes and the momentum just grew, as did the void. Then I remember watching one of the nationally broadcasted Xterra shows and the seed was planted. With absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into, I quickly signed up for an off-road triathlon in Lakewood, CO called “Battle the Bear”. At the time I had no idea what I was doing. I was 40 lbs. overweight, I could barely swim, I couldn’t seem to keep the rubber side of the bike down, and the run just flat out hurt; but I finished, and I found a new passion.

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

BEN HOFFMAN

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.

Athlete, Matt Russell, struck on Ironman cycling course, suffers serious injuries

KAILUA-KONA — A professional athlete suffered serious injuries after he struck a vehicle on the cycling course of the 39th annual Ironman championship, Saturday morning.

The accident occurred around 11 a.m. Hawaii Police Maj. Robert Wagner said the cyclist was traveling toward Kona on Queen Kaahumanu Highway when he broadsided a vehicle crossing the highway from Waikoloa Road.

According to the Ironman Track app, the athlete was 75 miles into the 112-mile course and had four hours of race time when he was last tracked at mile marker 76.

The cyclist was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital. Wagner said the cyclist was reported in serious condition around 1 p.m. By 3:30 p.m., his condition appeared to be improving.

Janey Brink said the accident happened right in front of her while she was cheering the athletes on from the highway with family and friends. She said the cyclist was going full speed when the vehicle pulled in front of him in the intersection.

“I’ve never seen a body go through what his body went through,” Brink said. “He came out of his clips.”

Brink splits her time between Hawaii Island and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She said she came to visit with her husband and friends, specifically to watch Ironman.

Brink said police used her umbrella to cover the cyclist. Officials also asked they stay around so they could talk to them about the crash.

“No one ever came to talk to us and we stayed for a long time,” Brink said.

Wagner said there were some cones in the area where the crash occurred but there are also several police officers directing traffic at the intersection. The accident is under investigation.

Brink said those directing traffic were allowing cars to cross the intersection two or three vehicles at a time.

“We couldn’t understand why cars in that intersection were still moving,” she said.

Brink said the riders had no idea there was an incident in the intersection and that it was another incident waiting to happen, almost.

 

“This rider, he could do nothing,” she said. “These riders need to have a clear path and that intersection was not clear.”

There was another collision on the cycling course involving a pedestrian and a competitor. Wagner said the cyclist picked up his bike, but went out of view of the cameras that watch the course. Wagner wasn’t sure if the cyclist continued on, but it appeared that way.

Wagner said Saturday evening no other collisions on the course were reported.

Original West Hawaii Today article HERE

 

A YouCaring page has been started to support Matt and his family.  You can find the link HERE.