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Texas Triathlete Triumphs Over Tragedy

Ironman triathlete Andrew McWhorter pays tribute to his late mother by fulfilling her dream to complete the Boston Marathon.

Personal trainer and coach Andrew McWhorter, 43, is an Ironman, having completed nine of the iconic triathlons.

He is also a man who tragically lost his mother at age 13. So he dedicates every race to her as he crosses the finish line, clutching a necklace of dog tags she wore in high school. More often than not, he freely offers, McWhorter then loses his composure and ends up on his knees, sobbing.

Crossing the finish line at Monday’s Boston Marathon could be the most emotional experience of all.

Barbara McWhorter, a talented Houston runner, was killed in an auto accident on April 17, 1981, while on her way to that race. She was 36. Her 11-year-old daughter also died, and her husband’s brain was so severely damaged he was unable to raise their two sons, who also were injured in the crash.

“I guess I could say I’ve been training to qualify for Boston for 30 years,” said McWhorter, whose older brother will run the marathon with him.

Read More: Houston Chronicle