Only the world’s strongest, toughest and best athletes get the chance to compete in the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii. It’s the only Ironman in the world that requires athletes to qualify to compete.
In that tough field, one man may actually be one of the courageous to ever take the challenge on.
At the age of 76, just two years after he’d been on his deathbed, Hunter Temple headed to Hawaii for the elite event.
Competing alongside his daughter, Elizabeth, Hunter had completed the 2.4-mile swim and he was 90 miles into the 112-mile bike ride when he crashed. He had cuts and scrapes all over his body but he got back on the bike and finished the ride. But he knew something was wrong because he couldn’t bend over as usual.
When he finished the bike ride, doctors checked him over and told him his Ironman was over — he’d fractured his hip.
Despite his disappointment over not finishing he was just amazed he’d gotten himself to the race.
Two years before, Hunter was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and learned doctors couldn’t remove his tumor because it was connected to a blood vessel. He spent weeks in the hospital, losing 40 pounds. When he was finally discharged, he was put on a feeding tube and lost even more weight.
Hunter explains how he eventually discovered that his tumor wasn’t cancerous and how his daughter motivated him to get out of bed and start training for the Kona Ironman.
This wasn’t the first time Hunter fought his way back through fitness. Found out how he evolved from a chain-smoking, overweight coach potato into an elite athlete in his 40s.