Chiropractor to work Ironman Triathlon
Few people would refer to the Ironman Worldwide Championship as a “slow day.”
The annual triathlon, which will take place Saturday, involves 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
While that sounds like a jam-packed day for the athletes involved, it will be a much less action-packed experience for Grand Junction chiropractor Bryce Christianson. Christianson, owner of Colorado Chiropractic & Muscle Care, 327 N. Seventh St., Suite 5, will be one of 20 to 30 medical care providers offering on-the-spot treatment during the storied race.
He will be on duty for 16 hours, working at a designated spot for athletes who need to leave the race for medical treatment. Christianson characterized the day as a slow one for him because there are often long gaps between athletes seeking treatment.
“It’s a lot of waiting. People only leave the race if they absolutely have to,” he said.
Christianson will be among 20 to 30 members of the Ironman Provider Network working at the race. For two years, Christianson has been a member of the group of medical doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists and physical therapists from across the nation who work at Ironman events in various cities. The Ironman in Hawaii is considered the “Super Bowl” of triathlons, he said.
In order to join the network, Christianson had to pass three tests and answer more than 90 percent of the questions on those tests correctly. He also has to work at least one triathlon a year. He worked at the Ironman in St. George, Utah, last year and gained a new admiration for Ironman athletes.
“I used to do shorter-distance triathlons and marathons. I didn’t have an appreciation for how tough they (Ironman triathlons) were until I went to St. George, and people said they got done in 10 hours, and that was a fast time,” Christianson said.
Hip and hamstring treatments are the most common requests on race day, he said. Christianson also will offer treatments each morning from 7 to noon during the week before the race. Christianson said he expects to be much busier those days than on race day, offering hip, lower leg and shoulder treatments.
Christianson will spend a week-and-a-half in Hawaii and looks forward to kayaking and visiting Pearl Harbor when he’s not working. He said he also looks forward to seeing athletes and physicians from around the globe.
“It’s a good learning environment. Not only do you get to treat international competitors, you get to talk to the people that treat (those athletes) at their home offices,” Christianson said.