Colm Kelly, Triathlete

Ironman Triathlon CHAMPIONSHIP – Kona, Hawaii October 8, 2011
Fundraising for Osteoporosis Canada

Colm Kelly

Over 2 million Canadians 50+ years are affected by osteoporosis. Colm is one of them. There are many myths surrounding this disease such as “Osteoporosis is a woman’s disease.” It’s not. In fact, 1 in 5 men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime.

Osteoporosis often has no symptoms. Colm didn’t. He was first diagnosed with osteoporosis of the lumbar spine in 2007 following a routine X-ray which indicated the need for a Bone Mineral Density test.

Another myth is that it’s “an old person’s disease and there’s nothing one can do.” Not true. After his diagnosis, Colm changed his diet and added Vitamin D and calcium supplements to his routine. Subsequent BMD tests indicated improvement. Sometimes however, that’s not enough. In August 2010 Colm tripped and fell while running and broke his left arm just below the shoulder joint. On the advice of his doctor he began taking medication.

It’s never too late to get fit. Colm’s career in Triathlon started at age 49 with a sprint Tri and later on that same year an Olympic distance Tri. At age 53 he completed his first marathon followed by his first Ironman. To date Colm has 8 Marathon and 15 Ironman finishes. He qualified for and competed in the Ironman World Championship at Kona, Hawaii in 2011 and 2012, and again in 2016 at 70 years of age where he had a podium 3rd place finish in his age-group. (See Colm’s next major event will be the inaugural Ironman Ireland to be held in Co. Cork in June 2019.

“I love competing. Thanks to research, I am living well with osteoporosis. Not everyone is so lucky. As I train for my next event, I realize the importance of the work they do. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, I wouldn’t be training for this challenging race; in fact, I might not be walking at all. I am an Ironman but my bones are not made of iron. I learned how to take care of my bones and they will support me through my 3.8Km swim, 180Km bike, and 42.2Km run. Help others live well with osteoporosis.” – Colm Kelly

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