2011 Ironman World Championship - Pittsburgh Chiropractor Dr. Christopher Webb Makes Journey to Hawaii to Assist Athletes in Ironman Competition

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Pittsburgh Chiropractor Dr. Christopher Webb made the journey to Kona, Hawaii to join the medical staff and assist the athletes in the 2011 Ironman competition. Dr. Webb was able to get an upfront and close experience with the athletes during this years 2011 Ironman competition which lead to a very unique and memorable experience.

Dr. Web and Associates

Dr. Christopher Webb

“To see a story like that and everything that he has overcome throughout his life, it makes you realize that anything is possible,” said Dr. Webb

Kona, Hawaii was the setting for the ultimate test of human endurance on October 8th, 2011 as over 1,800 competitors took to the course in their attempt to complete the triathlon. In the Ironman World Championship, athletes start off with a 2.4 mile swim. Then it is on the bike for a 112 mile ride. If that was not enough, the last stage is a 26.2 mile race to the finish line. During the 2011 race, the world would witness a record setting event as Craig “Crowie” Alexander broke Luc Van Lierde course record that had stood for fifteen years. Alexander finished the course in 8:03:56, a full 12 seconds faster than Van Lierde had finished in 1996. This was the third World Championship title for Alexander. He also won the title in 2008 and 2009. He is only the fourth person in history to win three championships and he is the first person to win both the Ironman 70.3 and the World Championship in the same year.

Alexander had to outlast a group of outstanding competitors including last years runner up, Andreas Raelart from Germany. Raelert ran another impressive course in 2011 after just falling short in 2010 to world champion Chris McCormack. He finished third just behind Alexander and Australia's Pete Jacobs with a time of 8:11:07. For Jacobs, this was his first top three finish. Jacobs has had a successful seven years of competing as a professional triathlete earning top ten finishes in both the 2009 and 2010 World Championships.

Thirty-four year old Chrissie Wellington from Great Britain captured her fourth World Championship completing the course in 8:55:08. After sitting out of the 2010 event due to illness, Wellington put on a strong performance this year surpassing Miranda Carfrae to win the title.

This was the second straight year that Pittsburgh Chiropractor Dr. Christopher Webb was part of the Medical Staff at the Ironman World Championship. Dr. Webb was on hand to assist in treating the more than 1,800 athletes that put their bodies to the ultimate test at the event. Dr. Webb is certified in Active Release Technique (ART), a soft tissue movement based massage technique. The training that Dr. Webb received in ART allows him to quickly diagnose and treat the injuries to athletes that are placing so much strain on their muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The athletes would start the day by receiving a pre-race assessment. This assessment would look at items such as body weight and other vital signs. This would allow the doctors on hand to closely monitor changes in the athletes bodies. One of the signs that they would closely monitor is body weight. While you would assume that the doctors would be looking for weight loss, it is actually the opposite, as weight gain during the competition could be very dangerous. “Weight gain can be a sign of hyponatremia, a serious condition caused by a lack of sodium in which the body’s cells take on water,” said Dr. Webb. “The majority of the athletes do a great job of preparing there bodies for the grueling strain of the Ironman Triathlon with proper nutrition, which helps them to avoid hyponatremia, but we did see a few cases,” said Dr. Webb. The experience he gained after last years Ironman Competition was very beneficial in his treatment of the athletes. “When the athletes come to you most of the time they are so exhausted that they can not even speak. You have to asses their conditions and get fluids into them as quick as possible,” said Dr. Webb.

One of the main reasons that Dr. Webb makes the 4,000 mile journey from Pittsburgh to Kona every year is for the inspiration that he receives watching these athletes compete. The inspiration does not just come from the big name elite athletes. The stories of will and courage that come out of this event are true sources of inspiration. This year the oldest competitor to complete the race was an 81 year old man from Oregon. Another astonishing story to come out of the event is the story of Rajesh Durbal. Durbal completed the course in 13:49:34. What makes this time so amazing is that Durbal is a triple amputee. Durbal was born missing bones in both of his legs and his right arm was only partially developed. When he was one year old, both of his legs were amputated. “To see a story like that and everything that he has overcome throughout his life, it makes you realize that anything is possible,” said Dr. Webb. Dr. Webb not only attends these events as part of the medical staff, but he also competes in several marathons and triathlons throughout the year. Dr. Christopher Webb, his brother Dr. Michael Webb Jr. who is also a chiropractor, and their mother Jean Webb, who is 71 will be running in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon in April. Mrs. Webb has already completed two triathlons and nine different marathons. For the same treatment that Dr. Webb provides to these world class competitors or to learn more about Active Release Technique, please visit Pittsburgh Chiropractor Dr. Webb and Associates.

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