(Top Belgian pro triathlete and Kona hopeful Marino Vanhoenacker recently had what was initially suggested as a hip injury following his recent race at Ironman Frankfurt. Following some recent dialogue, Vanhoenacker sent LAVA the follow press release regarding his current injury, the resultant adjustment to his training and racing plans (which means bowing out of the 2013 Hawaii Ironman) to focus on recovery, and addresses the Kona Points Rankings (KPR) system as it relates to his injury. Edited for clarity. —ed)

Let me start with a short recap of the last seven to eight weeks.


A few days before Ironman Frankfurt, I got to sense some stiffness and pain around the abdomen. At that time, it did not feel like it would limit me, and with tapering in full progress, it did not worry me to much.


Race day was a different story. The pain was there right from the swim start. On the bike it was not—no limitations there. But on the run, disaster; proper running was not possible. I decided to cruise along and get my points for Kona. After (that) I would have my recovery from Ironman, let it heal in that period and then go from there.


In the week after Ironman Frankfurt I traveled between hospitals and doctors to have tests, to try to build a diagnosis, and most important to decide on a treatment for the problem.


The diagnosis was a bit worse than I expected: a stress fracture of the pubic Bone, a small avulsion (it’s like really a little piece of bone that came loose), and lots of edema (swelling) on the pubic bone.


Treatment is heavy Calcium and Vitamin D tabs, laser treatment on the spot, as well as anti inflamatory, massage, exercises.


Training-wise, I started with easy biking after two weeks, and it was perfect. One week later, easy swims—no pains here either. So that looked good.


Yesterday I did my first run. This was ok. But today I tried to run of the bike and this was not working at all.


It seems allthough swim and bike is pain free, it still must build up tension in the area and (as a result) switching to the run is not an option.


So here I am. This week my preparation for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii had to kick off, and I cannot even run because of an injury—an injury that we tried to treat as fast as possible so the Hawaii option would stay open. I honestly believe we tried everything to make it in time, to treat it to the max. But my body gives me signs that this will not be possible, I ran out of options and the only thing left for me to do is pull the plug and try to approach the problem by giving it time.


This means that the next three weeks I will have my winter break (strange thought) and I hope that will be enough to heal. I will go through the tests again at the end of these three weeks, and hopefully get a green light.


I will use these three weeks to heal my body as well—physically as mentally—and I will try to lay out a new master plan, with a late Ironman in 2013, and with Ironman World Championships Hawaii 2014 at the end of that journey.


It gives me a good feeling that my sponsors TOPSPORT DEFENSIE, PEWAG, SCOTT, ALPHAWOOLFand my co-sponsors support me in this decision, and keep on believing in my plans for the future!

There is one more point I want to address: WTC’s KPR points system.


There is a lot of talk going on again in the different media, (and) my name pops up in most of these comments right now. So, for the first time ever I will comment on the KPR.


I never had any problem with it, and even now I still do not have a problem with it. I can understand that not everybody is happy with it—we are all different people with different opinions. The fact that I will not be in Hawaii is because of an injury and not because of the points. 


Last year, I made a plan; the three biggest races in the world (Melbourne-Frankfurt-Hawaii) was my goal, and Wiesbaden would be my backup plan if anything would go wrong. Injury decided different about this plan, and that is it “full stop.”


Let’s not go to the “what ifs,” and let me point out to you that there is one guy out there who is executing my 2013 plan with wins in Melbourne – Frankfurt – …  So it can be done.


I wish all the best to everyone. Train hard and smart and race to your dreams.


Talk in three weeks.