A review of athletes presenting for medical assistance at the 2011 Ironman South Africa triathlon event

Alexander, Stuart J
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
With the increasing popularity all over the world of Ironman triathlon events, the need to determine the type, timing and number of injuries sustained by these triathletes on race day is evident. Also to determine the optimum medical staffing requirements and knowledge during these events is of importance. The Ironman South Africa 2011 (IMSA) took place on the 10 of April of that year. On that day 1742 triathletes started the event and a total of 1477 where able to complete the entire race distance in the time period allowed, (completion rate of 84.8%). Of those athletes competing, a total of 183 (male 155)(87.4%) and 28 (female)(11.3%) presented to the medical facility for treatment. The mean age of the triathletes presenting was 38.73(SD±9.82) years and the mean time of presentation to the facility was 12.35(SD±2.33) hours after the start of the event. Injury prevalence showed exercise associated collapse (EAC) to be the most common presentation at 44.8%. The medical support and staffing was established to fit the temporal model of injuries sustained by non elite Ironman triathletes. This allowed increasing medical staffing in the latter stages of the race when a greater number of athletes were expected to present for medical assistance.