The Cairns Ironman is now just over a week away. Many athletes who arrive at the start line have their own stories of struggle and challenges - some with more obstacles that others.
Cairns Local Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson is the living embodiment of the IRONMAN mantra ‘Anything is Possible’.
The 25-year-old is not letting a rare form of dwarfism called Diastrophic Displasia, which leaves him with curvature of the spine, curved bones and a lack of cartilage in his joints, stop him from chasing his dreams.
Patterson will be on the start line for the Flight Centre Active Travel IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns on June 14 in his bid to tick his bucket list and raise money for a special little girl.
If he finishes the 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21.1km run he will become the first person with his condition to do so.
Patterson will be raising money for five-year-old Justene who has Type 1 Diabetes. Currently she requires five, or more, needles a day to keep her insulin levels under control. The money raised will go towards insulin pump therapy which would mean Justene would only require one needle every two to three days.
A competitive swimmer Patterson has been part of the Australian Para-Swim Team for the past seven years.
He qualified for his first Paralympic team in 2012 in London and has also attended two World Championships in 2010 and 2013.
He qualified for his third World Championship Team at the Australian championship recently and will head to Glasgow later this year.
“This meet will pave the way for me conquering my long term goal of making the team heading to the 2016 Paralympics to be held in Rio,” he said.
“Being a Cairns local I’ve been inspired each year watching the athletes complete the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3. I have such a passion for competitive sports and watching the athletes overcome the physical and mental challenges this course entails year in and year out has definitely made me keener to complete it myself.”
This is not the first time YOURIRONGUIDE has witnessed and assisted amazing athletes with special challenges. Perth local Brant Garvey became the first above knee amputee to finish Ironman Western Australia in 2013 following plenty of information sharing and inspired training. It was a pleasure to work with such a focused athlete. He also will begin the trip to Rio soon. These are the people that truly inspire and are very much are the core of Ironman values.