First Person With Dwarfism Finishes IRONMAN Triathlon
John Young is no stranger to doubters. Because he stands just 4’4,” he’s had people tell him his entire life that he can’t do certain things.
Now, Young has done something most haven’t: cross the finish line of an Ironman triathlon.
Young just became the first person with dwarfism to ever finish the monster three-part race, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.
He hit the record books after slaying IRONMAN Maryland with a time of 14 hours, 21 minutes.
“With shorter arms and legs, it takes more strokes to swim or steps to run the same distance as an average-sized triathlete,” Young told Triathlete last year. “I have done the calculations and determined with my 20-inch wheels, I need to pedal at least 35 percent more revolutions in order to go the same distance as someone using a 27-inch wheel.”
A 50-year-old high school teacher from Salem, Mass., Young was born with a genetic disorder called achondroplasia, which is a form of dwarfism that 80% of “little people” have.
According to Ironman.com, he weighed 195 pounds in 2006 and was suffering from sleep apnea, so he began swimming again to shed some weight. One thing led to another and he started biking, too.
Then in 2009, he saw a video on Dick Hoyt completing an Ironman with his disabled son, Rick. Inspired by the effort, Young started with sprint triathlons and worked his way up in distance.
He has since completed more than 40 triathlons, eight half-distance races and eight marathons—including the Boston Marathon three times and the New York City Marathon. In doing so, he earned the nickname “The Hammer.” He realized an IRONMAN didn’t seem so impossible. (Ironman.com)
Take a look at Young in this video CNN put out:
Job well done, John!
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