Ironman world record holder Tim Don completed the Boston Marathon in an impressive 2:49:42.

Just six months after a devastating race week bike crash at the Ironman World Championship, Ironman world record holder Tim Don completed the Boston Marathon in an impressive 2:49:42.

The impact of the collision back in October left Don with “The Halo”—a brace that kept his head and neck completely still, even during movement—until the beginning of January. Although the most painful option, he opted for The Halo as it offered him the best chance at recovering with the full mobility needed to return to his career as a professional triathlete. At 40 years old, he recognized he didn’t have the luxury of taking a “dark year” to come back to full strength.

After a few months of training without the Halo, Don chose to test his fitness at the iconic Boston Marathon and told the New York Times he believed he was capable of running a 2:50—which is almost exactly what he did in the tough conditions.

Though he’s still limited in some ways (for example, he has yet to regain full mobility in the swim), he hopes to return to a full Ironman in July.

“I have no idea if this is going to work,” he said of his efforts to return so quickly. “I just know I need to give it a go because we’re all trying to be faster than each other, and while I’m here, they’re trying to beat my world record. I just don’t want to be second in the world. I want to be the best-best, no matter what, and I’ll do whatever it takes.”

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