Rasmussen completes Ironman despite injury
Even a broken collar bone couldn't stop Lief Rasmussen. The Jamestown native recently completed his second Ford Ironman Triathlon in Couer d'Alene, Idaho. And he did so despite a wreck in the bicycling portion of the competition that nearly knock...
Even a broken collar bone couldn't stop Lief Rasmussen.
The Jamestown native recently completed his second Ford Ironman Triathlon in Couer d'Alene, Idaho.
And he did so despite a wreck in the bicycling portion of the competition that nearly knocked him out of the grueling race.
Rasmussen, a Jamestown High School grad who is competing with the Jamestown College cross country and track teams, was one of over 2,000 competitors from around the world competing in the Ironman event. Competitors first swim 2.4 miles, then cover 112 miles on the bicycle before finishing with a 26.2-mile marathon.
Things went well from the start for Rasmussen, who finished the swimming portion in 1:01:07, which was good for 67th place overall.
He finished the first 34-mile segment of the bicycle race in 1:43.02.
Around the 50-mile mark, he ran into trouble.
Attempting to avoid an accident ahead of him at an intersection, Rasmussen crashed and suffered a broken collar bone.
He spent 45 minutes on the ground as medics attended to his injury. He was advised to drop out of the race and go to a hospital for X-rays and medical care, but Rasmussen chose to resume the race.
Rasmussen, who had a strong freshman season running mainly the 800 meters for the Jimmies, had set a goal of winning his age group before the race. The 19-year-old turned his sights to just finishing after the wreck.
"Looking back, I'm still glad I went through with it and finished because if I had not, I would still be sitting here today with a broken clavicle, just with no medal," Rasmussen said. "It was also rewarding to be a source of encouragement to other athletes who were in pain. They saw that I could keep going, so they could, too."
Unable to move his left arm at all, Rasmussen had to control his bike with just his right hand. He took 4:03:.52 to finish the second bike segment (a 56-mile stretch), which included the time off the bike. He finished the 22-mile final bike segment in 1:19:51 for a total time of 7:06:45 on the bike.
He completed the marathon with an elastic bandage wrapped around him to keep him from moving his injured left arm. He was in pain whenever the arm moved, even slightly. But he continued the race.
He ran the marathon in 6:07:06, and finished with an overall time of 14 hours, 30 minutes, which was good for 1,569th place in a field of 2,300 finishers.
"Lief was doing a lot of extra work during the track season," said Jimmie men's track coach Jim Clark. "He spent a lot of time in the pool and did a lot of bike workouts to prepare. He seems to run his races as much on will and fortitude as he does on talent and conditioning, so it does not surprise me that he could withstand that much pain and complete the competition.
"I hope he can heal up well and get ready for the Jimmie cross country season."