After a long hot day that included a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a marathon run, VinFast Ironman World Championship competitor Carly Maycock was wrapped in a foil blanket, shaking.
“I’m OK. I’m OK,” she reassured.
Maycock and other triathlon competitors were seen on the grounds of the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on Saturday night wearing the foil sheets to keep themselves warm and help battle the post-race chills. Sometimes racers run the risk of hypothermia after their body temperatures drop from the long day.
Maycock said after crossing the finish line, she immediately went to the pop-up medical tent at the Kailua pier, where she was treated for dehydration.
Maycock was among the hundreds of female racers seen by a hundred or more volunteer medical staff, from doctors and nurses to medical assistants, both local and from other places such as California.
Maycock said she’s raced in other competitions, and nothing compares to the treatment she had during Ironman, where she was attached to an IV and weighed before and after the race. Having lost weight after the competition, the medical personnel knew right away that she was in need of care.
“That’s not typical in other races,” she said.
Dr. V. Ted Leon is a family physician affiliated with the Queen’s Medical Center on O‘ahu, who under the title of Director of Cardiac Stress Testing has spoken about exercise testing for the heart. He was one of the several volunteer doctors during the event, and said he and other doctors have been involved with the race for a long time, and over the years improved on their strategies to make sure runners are receiving the best care possible.
And much care was needed.
“We see about one racer a minute during this time,” he said after sunset.
Prior to the race, Leon said many of the doctors participate in a sports medicine conference at the Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa. Titled the Ironman World Championships Medical Symposium, the nonprofit, annual five-day continuing medical education event targets medical professionals interested in sports medicine and treating endurance athletes.
During the conference, attendees receive cutting-edge information in areas of sports medicine, exercise science and common sports-related injury and illness and use what they learn during the Ironman race.
After Saturday’s race, Leon said they were seeing the typical medicinal cases, such as dehydration and hyponatremia, when the concentration of sodium in the bloodstream is abnormally low, causing weakness and cramping.
Lexi Hofer, a volunteer who was stationed near the medical tent, said she was in charge of clearing traffic for the racers to be funneled in to be seen by the medical personnel. She said it was a busy night.
“Some racers came in on wheelchairs and others had about two or three walkers to help them,” she said.
Every racer has to be cleared by medical after finishing and she said she was impressed by the streamline.
“I think medical did a great job,” she said.
For more information about Ironman, visit this website.