Former Steelers WR Hines Ward finishes Kona Ironman Triathlon

Monday's health and safety news from the world of sports:

* Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward became the first NFL player to complete the Kona Ironman Triathlon, The Associated Press reported.


The two-time Super Bowl winner finished one of the world's most challenging triathlon courses in 13 hours, 8 minutes and 15 seconds.


Ward was the 1,680th athlete to cross the finish line after a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a full 26.2-mile marathon. He swam a 1:20:01, biked a 6:21:12 and finished off with a 5:12:56 run.


The former NFL star and "Dancing With the Stars" winner trained for nearly a year with triathlon legend Paula Newby-Fraser.


"When I first started it was raining one day and I even asked Paula if I should be running in the rain. I never thought I could run further than a mile," Ward said. "This has been a life-changing experience for me."


Ward told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk that he won't be a regular Ironman Triathlon competitor.


Earlier today, I texted him congratulations and asked when the next one will be.


"Never," Ward said. "One and done."


* The Boston Globe wrote about a Norwell, Mass., nurse who is trying to raise awareness of concussions among area school athletes.

* KCTV-TV in Kansas City reported how the NAIA is working with an area hospital to teach athletes about concussion awareness.

* In an editorial, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram praised the NFL and football at all levels for taking the concussion issue seriously.

* As part of its latest series on concussions in football, the Birmingham News profiled Dr. Ann McKee, who has been one of the lead researchers of CTE in the brains of deceased football players.

* NBC News reported on how a high-tech mouthguard is tested for use as a way to track head injuries.

* The Orlando Sentinel profiled Nebraska prospect Zach Darlington, who suffered a head injury during a nationally televised high school football game earlier this season and vows to play for the Cornhuskers beginning next season.

* The Dallas Morning News reported that the Dallas Independent School District is spending $3 million to put athletic trainers on each of its high school campuses.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor

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