Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Ironman

Blind Veteran Training For Ironman Arizona

Veteran Michael Somsan will compete at Ironman Arizona on Nov. 16.

For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.

Veteran Michael Somsan will compete at Ironman Arizona on Nov. 16.

“I don’t quit.”

That’s what Michael Somsan said as he spoke about his training for an Ironman triathlon. He believes it is his responsibility to be an example to show his daughters.

The Ironman is a brutal assault on any athlete. Competitors swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 and then run a marathon.

But Somsan has been here before, in a place where a situation seemed impossible, and every time he finds a way.

When he started training for a triathlon, he knew swimming would be the most difficult part.

“The hard part is pacing,” he said between laps at the Gilbert Lifetime.

Then he turned back to his fitness partner and asked a simple question.

“Am I facing the right way?”

You see, Somsan is completely blind.

“When I do tandem bike, I can talk to my pilot,” he said. “Or running side by side, so I can talk to them. Swimming I can’t do that. You can’t talk.”

He follows another swimmer tethered by rope to keep him on course.

“It’s inspiring, you know?” said Somsan’s technique coach, Nick Hansen. “He keeps trudging along and getting better.”

Read more: Wdsu.com

RELATED PHOTOS: 2013 Ironman Arizona