Sid James and Kevin Fergusson hope of becoming the first pair with a quadriplegic to complete an ironman. Sid is a quadriplegic. Kevin vowed to tow, carry, and push Sid in a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km run, as they planned to race in the Hawaii Ironman in October 2017.
The dream of competing in an Ironman became a reality when Sid asked Kevin if he could come watch him compete in the race. Sid jokingly stated “I reckon he is an idiot,” when Kevin proposed Sid compete in the race along side him.
In preparation for the race, a team of 11 including a doctor and four of James caregivers made the trip to Hawaii.
Kevin began actively training five weeks before the race. Kevin’s training week for the race included a swim 16km, ride, 500km and run 80km. Kevin would ride with a bike trailer filled with water bottles that was equivalent to Sid’s weight. “I certainly get a few strange looks out on the road,” says Kevin. Sid has trained for the race by cutting his meal portions in half. He has lost weight to make it easier for Kevin to tend to him during the trek.
The plan was for Sid to be placed in a kayak attached to Kevin with a rope and harness around his waist for the swim. Sid would then be transferred to a two-wheel wheelchair attached to Kevin’s bike for the ride. A third wheel would be added so Sid could be pushed by Kevin during the running portion of the race.
The pair completed in a few races prior to the ironman, such as a half-ironman at Murray Bridge. The races proved to both men how difficult the ironman would be.
Sid had a few concerns about being out in the elements in Hawaii. As a quadriplegic, it is difficult for Sid to regulate his body temperature.
“I’m scared about (the heat), I don’t sweat, so I’ve got no way of cooling down.”
Because of these health concerns, Sid decided not to complete the ironman. However, these two friends are proof of what a true partnership is, whether or not both men decided to compete in the ironman. Here’s to many successful races in the future!
Have you ever completed a race or marathon? Share your story with us at AbleThrive.com!