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He’s back: Tim Don returns to WIN IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica

From the 'Man with the Halo' to 'The Don on top of the podium' - Tim Don's incredible return from a broken neck continues as he wins IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica

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From ‘Halo’ to podium – Tim Don wins on his return to Pro racing

The story of ‘The Don’ continues…

What can you say to that, except, WOW.

Unless you’ve been in a cave for the past nine months, if you are triathlon fan you’ll surely be familiar with the struggles of Tim Don. From broken neck in Kona, three days before the IRONMAN World Championship to three months in the ‘Halo’ – all brilliantly covered in this stunning documentary.

When we spoke to Tim Don in April, he told us that his run at the Boston Marathon was the closing of one chapter and the start of the next – “”Boston was important for me. That was my transition… I’m trying now to not see myself as someone recovering from injury.”

Well, Sunday’s return and win at IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica would appear to put the seal on that goal. As recently as May we know that Tim was having to to his swim training with a snorkle, his neck still restricted from his accident – so when he came of of the water in Costa Rica with the leaders, which included 2016 Olympian, Ryan Fisher (AUS), you have to be impressed.

Tim had also joked with me that his time trial ‘shrug’ aero position should be pretty good now, because “I can’t move my bloody neck anyway!”, so when he came of the bike with almost a minute’s lead, well, things were looking good. Could he hold it? Fisher wasn’t letting go, the gap between him and Don hovering at around one minute throughout the 21km of the run – but the Brit held strong, closed with a 1:17:13 half marathon and what will surely be one of the most emotional podiums of his very long career.

IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica – Sunday 24th June 2018
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km


1st – Tim Don (GBR) – 3:49:59
2nd – Ryan Fisher (AUS) – 3:50:57
3rd – Santiago Ascenco (BRA) – 3:54:36


1st – Lauren Goss (USA) – 4:29:15
2nd – Sarah Cometo (USA) – 4:44:26
3rd – Lotty Harari (PAN) – 5:01:13

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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