MEDEX Kona Classes 2 & 3 @ 2022 Iron Man World Championship (October 6-8, 2022)
Report from Dani Laird (MEDEX Kona Class 2)
(Back row, L-R): Danie Bowman, Ayanna Jose, Dani Laird, Hannah Moore, Kelli Spiering, Lauryn Carr
(Front row, L-R): Nyssa Seaton, Sarah Sumida, Savannah Udac, Vickie Bounkousohn, Jenna Han, Megan Talabis, Lia Polu
The Iron Man World Championship has taken place in Kailua-Kona every year since 1981. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the competition was cancelled the past two years. So for the first time ever, athletes who qualified in 2020, 2021, and 2022 were all invited to compete this year in the largest pool of competitors ever, at just under 5,000 individuals. This number required a massive amount of volunteers at aid stations, for check-in, security, transitions, and most critically, for medical logistics and the medical tent where we volunteered. Physicians, nurses, NPs, med students, PAs, and PA students were all in attendance and operated in sections to treat athletes, from the relatively straightforward dehydration and exhaustion to more critical care for those with severe hyperthermia, arrhythmias, and electrolyte imbalances.
As members of the first and only physician assistant program in Hawai’i, we felt it was important to contribute to this event in any capacity we could. Our team included members of both Kona Class 2 and Class 3. We worked on the IV teams, took vitals, did triage on the finish line, and contributed to care under the guide of a physician or PA. The efforts of all the volunteers allowed for a finish rate of over 95% amongst athletes on one of the most difficult courses in the world. I am so proud of myself and my classmates for the time, effort, and contributions we provided to the athletes in the tent, with some students even flying in from Oahu during their clinical year to attend. We will be back!