IRONMAN TIM DON FROM ACCIDENT TO RUNNING AGAIN

Melanie Mitchell | March 27, 2018


TIM DON: THE IRONMAN’S RECOVERY AND COMEBACK CONTINUES

The Boulder triathlon and running community came out in force at the weekend to support Ironman athlete Tim ‘The Don’ Don’s return to running after a long recuperation from a life affirming accident just before the Ironman World Championships that left him wondering if he’d ever compete again.

TIM DON: WORLD RECORD HOLDER FOR IRONMAN

 

In 2017, pro-triathlete Tim Don was on top of his game. He had pulled in the world record time for Ironman triathlon with a corker of a performance at Ironman South American in Brazil with an astounding 07:40:23 time.

In October that same year, he was cycling in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii prepping the last few days before arguably the biggest race of his career - the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii - when he was hit by a car on his bike.

The result? A fractured C2 vertebrae.

To secure his best chances of competing again, Don took stock of medical advice and opted for a medieval-looking halo brace that was literally bolted into his skull for months.

Now living in Boulder, Colorado, the expat Brit took recovery one day at a time sharing his journey with his sports supporters via social media and video.



Four months in a halo gives you plenty of time to contemplate the meaning of life - and his fans saw the raw emotion getting back on the bike with aforementioned halo, to literally the screws coming loose and the pain of what he was going through.


 

BACK TO RUNNING

When the halo came off, then the recuperation continued, and armed with the joy of being able to move more freely, what better than a 10k run with your local running supporters.

On a rather grey, spring morning in Boulder, Colorado Tim, accompanied by his kids and wife Kelly, led a run around the Boulder Reservoir - known as ‘The Res’ to the local tri and run community.



Tim Don with Bill Plock of 303 Triathlon
Tim Don & Bill Plock of 303 Triathlon. Photo: 303 Triathlon
 
About 50 runners came out early on a Sunday morning along for the run and were joined by another fellow Ironman champion Rachel Joyce, who also lives in the heavily pro-athlete community in Boulder.

A 10K run around the Boulder Reservoir is a great start to the day at the best of times, but running with a world class athlete makes it all the sweeter. Tim thanked everyone for the support and outpouring of confidence-boosting messages he received along the way to get to where he is today; standing tall in his running shoes and ready to go.

 

 

Tim Don with Bill Plock of 303 Triathlon
Post-run chow down courtesy of On Running. Photo Credit: M Mitchell
 
On Running - Tim Don’s sponsor and supporter throughout his accident and recovery were there to feed and fuel the running troops alongside our local running store The Boulder Running Company.

Hanging out at Tom Watson Park in Boulder is part and parcel of being an athlete in Colorado. It’s where most bike training rides head out from at the weekends. Many might argue the parking lot at Tom Watson Park probably has the highest concentration of carbon fiber in the USA at any given time!

 
But this past weekend, among the slick tires, were a group of runners who came for the camaraderie and sheer joy of shaking out the legs to celebrate an athlete who can, once again, bend down to tie his On shoelaces.

Run on Tim.

 

 

THE BRITISH ARE COMING

Tim’s first official adventure back in his running shoes will be a forthcoming goal in April. Stay tuned for more on Tim's story on JackRabbit social media and follow Tim Don on Instagram to follow his next goal.

Wherever Tim Don’s race journey takes him in 2018, we are sure toeing any start line will be an emotional day for a man who didn’t know what lay ahead of him as he woke up in a hospital bed five months ago.

You can read more about Tim Don’s record breaking Ironman race in Brazil in our interview from last year on the JackRabbit Blog.



STAY TUNED: THERE’S MORE TO COME FROM 'THE DON'

A film crew led by Andrew Hinton of award-winning Pilgrim Films is currently following Tim Don on his journey from recovery back to competition thanks to On Running and his support team.

The as-yet-unnamed documentary will be released in May 2018. Stay tuned to JackRabbit and The Boulder Running Company for updates on screenings in Boulder and beyond.

The film will no doubt be an insight into what it takes to be a world-class athlete, but also how the skills an athlete needs in the sports arena are equally applicable to the ‘games’ that make up life’s challenges.


 


 

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