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The Clasp of Kona - A Sport Where the People Win



Note in physician's log, men's changing tent 2016 Ironman Kona - "Athlete reports earplug stuck in ear.  Forceps extraction." 

Just like that, the racer is on his way with hardly any time lost at all. Thanks for being there Dr. Charles Johnson!
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Kona start/finish line on Alii Drive. 

The Clasp of Kona


    At Kona, more than any other race throughout the vast Ironman collection, the emotional lives of the racers, in good seasons and most especially in bad, are on display.  Unlike many other sports, the professional athletes are still part of the crowd, visible in the daily landscape, and for the most part quite approachable.  There’s Julie Moss and “the Spectacle” in 1982, which for many athletes who walk the streets of Kailua-Kona today, put Ironman in their cross hairs of possibilities.  And Paula Newby-Fraser, the “Queen of Kona” whose 1995 meltdown so close to the finish showed the triathlon world, no matter your pedigree or number of previous wins (7) in your satchel, each of us can eventually run out of gas and be unable to take one more step.

But, as they say in the Sound of Music, “When the Lord closes a door, he opens a window somewhere,” the brilliance of the smile of the 1995 winner Karen Smyers still illuminates the final 400 meter stretch down Alii Drive to the Ironman World Championship finish line.  The pros we’ve come to know, and respect, wear their hearts on their sleeves while racing, much as we fans also do cheering.

Kona is simply the best.  There was talk not that long ago of rotating the location of the World Championship.  Kona one year, then Germany, Australia, maybe Canada, but the backlash was loud and clear.  It’s Kona!  Got it?  Despite small course changes over the years, addition of buoys to the swim, bringing T2 from Keauhou to the pier, adding NELH – the energy lab – the course is alive, leads are always in doubt.   Should you be so fortunate as to win here, treasures are yours that cannot be bought.  Your name is in the same sentence with Dave, and Mark, and Rinny, for life.  You’re on Bob Babbitt and Mike Reilly’s speed dial for gosh sakes.  You reap a lifetime of spoils.



Multivitamins, beneficial to the triathlete?

"Most people take multivitamins because they are concerned they aren't getting what they need in their diets.  The multivitamin serves as an insurance policy.  In November 2013, a review of 26 studies found that otherwise healthy men and women didn't have a lesser risk of cancer or heart diseases after taking a daily multivitamin.  They wrongly assume that vitamins taken in concentrated pill form are processed and presented to the body in the same way that they would be if you got them in fruits and vegetables.  Probably the smartest (and least expensive) way to get what we need is just by paying a little more attention to our diet."

                                                     Paul Offit, MD Do You Believe in Magic?, 2013

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