KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Lyle Anderson, a Hurricane triathlete battling multiple sclerosis, will defy the odds by competing in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii on Saturday.
Six years ago, Anderson was diagnosed with MS, an inflammatory disease leading to brain and spinal cord damage with no known cause or cure, and
told by doctors he would likely be wheelchair-bound in the future. This tragic news sparked a new motivation within Anderson, 36, to follow his dream of completing an Ironman triathlon.
“If I did end up in a wheelchair,” Anderson said in a profile video made by his sponsor, Endevr, “I wanted to be able to say … I did what I wanted to do and I have no regrets.”
When diagnosed, Anderson was overweight and rarely exercised, if at all. Yet he set his sights on the Ironman with the attitude that “this isn’t going to get me; I’m going to conquer this.”
Before long, Anderson was hooked on what he calls “the Ironman lifestyle.” Not only did he complete the 2013 St. George Ironman with a time of 6 hours, 22 minutes, 44 seconds, he qualified for the world championship.
Even before being diagnosed with MS, Anderson has been inspiring others.
“He’s all about anything he can do to help inspire people to see their best selves regardless of their challenges,” close friend Joshua Taylor said.
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Video courtesy of Endevr
Taylor said that Anderson has always been very engaging to everyone in his life. He makes others feel like they’re important.
“He’s one of the most positive people I’ve ever met,” Taylor said. “He just wants to help others get the most out of life.”
The Ironman is one of the most grueling tests of athleticism and willpower in the world. Qualifying races, like the St. George Ironman, consist of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Making it through to the world championship is a major accomplishment, and that is what Anderson desires.
“I want to finish the day conquering something big,” he said.
The race will be streamed live online starting at 10 a.m. local (Southern Utah) time and re-broadcast on NBC Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m. To follow Anderson’s progress minute-by-minute on race day, use the athlete tracker.
- Registration opens for 2014 Ironman 70.3 St. George
- St. George Ironman 70.3: ‘Perfect day’ for Ironman as racers excel; STGnews Videocast
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