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Ironman announces the winners of the Kona Inspired program, who will be racing in Kona this October.
Ironman has announced the seven winners of the Kona Inspired program, all of whom will have the chance to race the 2013 Ironman World Championship in October. Now in its second year, the program allows aspiring Kona athletes to share their story in a short video of how they best represent the Ironman mantra “Anything is Possible.” A group of 45 finalists were selected and broken down into three 10-day voting rounds, in which the triathlon selected two winners from each round. The seventh winner was a wild card athlete selected by Ironman.
Here are the seven winners, and check back to Triathlete.com over the coming weeks to read more about these athletes.
Lyle Anderson (Hurricane, Utah):
When diagnosed with multiple sclerosis six years ago, Anderson felt defeated. signing up for a triathlon, his determination to conquer the race resulted in finishing the 2012 Ironman St. George. Anderson hopes to be an example to others suffering while proving that anything is possible.
Dean Bullock (South Jordan, Utah):
With three Ironman triathlons, five Boston Marathons and longtime dreams of competing at Kona, Bullock refuses to let brain cancer define him as he strives to prove anything is possible.
Naomi Cermak (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada):
Last year Cermak was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, but won’t allow herself to give up the battle in achieving one of her life’s dreams, to race the Ironman World Championship.
Win Charles (Aspen, Colo.):
With the help of her cousin Barbara Ann Bernard, Charles dreams of being the first female team with cerebral palsy to finish the Ironman World Championship. Her passion for life and love of sports drives her desire to race at Kona and show the world that anyone with a disability can compete.
Terry Kennedy (Norah Head, New South Wales, Australia):
Terry Kennedy signed up for his first marathon to honor his son born with a brain disorder and father diagnosed with cancer, but days before the race, he suffered a stroke and heart attack. Dedicated to recovery, Kennedy completed an Ironman in 2013 and continues setting big goals, Kona being his biggest.
Kelly Miyahara (Los Angeles, Calif.):
On the day of the 2012 Ironman World Championship, Miyahara’s friend and triathlon teammate, Marisela, was killed in a tragic cycling accident while training for her first Ironman. Racing in Kona will give Miyahara the opportunity to fulfill her and her friend’s Ironman dream, while also fundraising for LLS through Team in Training, the organization that brought the two friends together.
Nicholas Tierney (Powell, Ohio):
In 2012, Tierney and his wife’s lives changed when they welcomed their four children, three boys and one girl, into the world. Born at 29 weeks, his quadruplets spent more than a month in the NICU and Tierney had to drop out of Ironman Wisconsin, but and now he’ll get to race in the most prestigious Ironman there is.
In support of Kona Inspired, the Ironman Foundation will provide additional benefits to this year’s winners, including providing a platform for fundraising to support the cause each athlete is passionate about. The Ironman Foundation has also agreed to match up to $10,000 for the charity of the Kona Inspired winner who raises the most money for his or her cause.
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