Colorado Athletes in Kona: Michelle Hildebrand

I started my journey into triathlon 10 years ago through the Team in Training for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Having no real background in endurance sports I was a typical middle of the packer to start and over the years moved from Olympic distance to 70.3 and eventually to Ironman in 2011 at Ironman Wisconsin. After this first one, I fell in love with the longer distance and have raced an Ironman each year since then. This is also the distance I excel at the most since I don’t have much raw speed but can push hard over the long haul.

In 2014, I reached the podium at the inaugural Ironman Boulder but missed Kona by one spot which was unfortunately the same story in 2015 at Wisconsin. Coming that close was heartbreaking but served as great motivation to keep pushing. Last year at Ironman Chattanooga in record heat, all of the cards fell into place and I finally grabbed that elusive slot to Kona. I’ve always been an athlete who loves the heat and a challenging course so lets see how the lava fields compare… hopefully the winds will be kind this year!

Training for Ironmans year after year is not easy while balancing a full time job but I’ve been fortunate to have the support of friends in Rocky Mountain Tri Club and the Tribella team, boyfriend Bill Ludington who has supported me every step of the way and local coach Steve Johnson to push me beyond what I thought was possible.

My journey to Kona has been a long one and it will make my first time on the big island even sweeter! Hopefully I can be an example to other middle of the packers that qualifying for the World Championships is possible with lots of hard work and dedication.

Study: Heart attacks killing triathletes during race

From 9News

New study from the Annals of Internal Medicine shows hearts attacks are killing triathletes during the race.

Author: Erica Tinsley
Published: 09/21/17

A new study is highlighting the dangers of competing in triathlons.

The Annals of Internal Medicine study shows 135 people have died from sudden heart attacks during triathlons in U.S. from 1985 to 2016.

Researchers say 67 percent of the deaths happened during the swim, which is the first part of triathlons.
85 percent of the deaths were men.

We spoke with emergency room doctor, Comilla Sasson and the President and coach of the Rocky Mountain Triathlon Club, Charles Perez.

Both say simply not warming up properly is putting extra strain on competitors hearts.
“It’s very easy to get anaerobic without even having done any kind of warm up and that’s going to be a big issue right there because your heart starts racing,” said Perez.

Dr. Sasson added, “When you’re in the aerobic zone your heart is the most efficient that it will be. You’re pumping blood just to make sure you’re getting enough blood to your muscles and vital organs. When you go into that anaerobic threshold, your heart is on overdrive, right, you’re trying to get blood the most vital organs at that point so you’re just kind of hitting the ground running really, really hard and if you don’t do a proper warm up that really puts a huge strain on that heart.”

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