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What a time loved it. Hope to be back next year!!!! :)
Below was an article in West Hawaii Today's newspaper on Ironman Day!
Kym Kiser will compete in Saturday's Ford Ironman World Championship after having hip surgery last year. - Photo By Brad Ballesteros | Special To West Hawaii Today
Kailua-Kona woman overcomes surgery to compete in Ironman
by Carolyn Lucas
West Hawaii Today
Saturday, October 11, 2008 7:11 AM HST
Running -- let alone, walking -- a mile after a seven-hour hip surgery last year seemed uncertain at one point for Kym Kiser.
So competing again in the Honolulu Marathon or any sporting event around West Hawaii was simply out of the question for the Kailua-Kona resident, who started, and fell in love with, running at age 30. As for the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship, it wasn't even considered.
But here the 35-year-old woman is, defying the odds as she competes for the first time Saturday in an event that features a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon. Such a succession tests even the most hardened athlete's will and stamina. Yet Kiser is unfaltered by the grueling one-day challenge.
advertisementArmed with her unbreakable spirit and unwavering support, Kiser is determined to finish the race, even if it means walking alone in the dark and wearing a glow stick. She will stop only when crossing the finish line, which Kiser aims to accomplish before the 17-hour cutoff time.
Words this Kiser Motorcycles owner longs to hear proclaimed at the finish line are: "Kym Kiser, you are an Ironman."
More important than recognition or glory, Kiser intends to prove Dr. Aaron Filler wrong. The California neurosurgeon performed her operation, claimed Kiser would be 80 percent of what she was prior and said she couldn't run competitively again.
Should all go well Saturday, completing the Ironman will be the top accomplishment of her life.
"If I can do this, I will be able to conquer, or will at least not have the fear to conquer, anything I set out to do in my life," she said. "It's already a tremendous honor to be a part of it. I've always had great admiration for the Ironman participants and considered them heroes."
Click Photo to Enlarge
Kym Kiser poses with her racing bicycle before training Wednesday in preparation for Ironman triathlon on Saturday. - Brad Ballesteros | Special To West Hawaii Today
Kiser plans to give Filler photos and her medals from the Ford Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, an early summer qualifier commonly known as "Honu." This gift is proof that one diagnosis doesn't always fit all and some are stronger than they appear. Kiser hopes people in similar situations and others will be inspired. She insists that life does go on and one can fulfill whatever dream they have. Kiser is grateful for Filler, saying she wouldn't be
where she is today or be doing triathlons -- a new love -- without him.
"Biomechanically incorrect," Kiser has scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. Two years ago, she began experiencing pain in her hip but continued to compete in running events. Over time, the pain grew more excruciating. Soon she couldn't run, drive or do simple everyday tasks.
Kiser made visits to doctors, who blamed the pain on bulging discs, sciatica and piriformis syndrome. She received treatment but received little results. Through online research, she eventually discovered Filler, who in September 2007 removed her piriformis and 3.5 centimeters of sciatic nerve. Her insurance company called it "an experimental surgery" and wouldn't cover it. So the Kiser family is using home equity to pay the medical bills.
Kiser still has pain daily, but not to the degree it was. The worst she's ever felt was the moment she laid on the operating table, waiting for the anesthesia to set it. The sensation Kiser suffered caused her so much anguish that she prayed to God, asking him to take her away if the procedure could not help her.
After surgery, Kiser asked Filler if she would be able to run again. His response was devastating: "Let's first get you walking."
Walking took a while to accomplish, and when Kiser did so initially, it was cautiously and slowly. She became jealous of the runners on Alii Drive, a place she later avoided. Her progress caused depression and weight loss. It wasn't until Kiser realized how good she had it compared to others that her condition improved.
After mastering walking, she learned how to swim for the first time ever with Steve Borowski, an instructor who coaches swimmers of all ages at the Kona Community Aquatic Center in Kailua-Kona. She then started competing again in Frozen Pea Productions races, conducted by local multisport enthusiast Sean "Peaman" Pagett. Kiser praised both men for their help and encouragement. Kiser didn't know where she would be without their classes or competitions.
Kaiser said June 29, the day of the UCC Coffee Kunitake Farms Kona Marathon, Half Marathon and Family Fun Runs, was the happiest day of her recovery period. In the half marathon, she finished fourth among women, first in her age division and 17th overall. It was then that Kiser surprised herself, passing the athletes she had envied most.
On Saturday, Kiser will honor Bob "Lava Dawg" Schratz, a local athlete, "humble" role model and friend who recently died of lung cancer. His name is embroidered on her shorts. He is her "greatest incentive" for finishing. She promised him that she would. To do so, she has trained up to 25 hours a week.
Her mother has flown from Wise, Va., to watch Kiser race. Her relatives are proud and amazed that a girl from a town of roughly 3,000 people is participating in the hardest endurance event in the world. In fact, her 8-year-old daughter, Skyler, has been known to tell strangers or those with the slightest interest in Saturday's race about her and Ironman when venturing around town with the family.
One of her biggest fans is her husband, Kris, and Kiser thanked him for his support throughout this journey. He was offered an Ironman slot after competing in Honu too, but declined.
"He has no regrets," she said. "He just continues to feed and support my passion."
BIB AGE STATE/COUNTRY PROFESSION
1383 35 Kailua-Kona HI USA Business Owner
SWIM BIKE RUN OVERALL RANK DIV.POS.
1:26:50 6:45:29 4:43:33 13:12:58 1350 of 1736 57 of 68
LEG DISTANCE PACE RANK DIV.POS.
TOTAL SWIM 2.4 mi. (1:26:50) 2:17/100m 1454 57
FIRST BIKE SEGMENT 5.5 mi. (1:51:09) 19.72 mph
SECOND BIKE SEGMENT 28 mi. (3:04:06) 18.51 mph
THIRD BIKE SEGMENT 59 mi. (5:03:10) 15.62 mph
FOURTH BIKE SEGMENT 88 mi. (6:48:47) 16.47 mph
FINAL BIKE SEGMENT 112 mi. (8:19:54) 15.80 mph
TOTAL BIKE 112 mi. (6:45:29) 16.57 mph 1416 57
FIRST RUN SEGMENT 5.2 mi. (9:22:57) 10:17/mile
SECOND RUN SEGMENT 10.3 mi. (10:14:12) 10:02/mile
THIRD RUN SEGMENT 17.6 mi. (11:36:07) 11:13/mile
FINAL RUN SEGMENT 26.2 mi. (13:12:58) 11:15/mile
TOTAL RUN 26.2 mi. (4:43:33) 10:49/mile 1350 57
T1: SWIM-TO-BIKE 7:35
T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 9:31