Ironman Hector Picard Becomes First Double-Arm Amputee to Finish Grueling Race
|Courtesy of Hector Picard|
Ironman Triathlons are insane. Competitors swim more than two miles, bike 112 miles, and then run a full 26.2-mile marathon.
People have died, pooped themselves, and gone totally bonkers trying to complete a single Ironman. Hometown hero Hector Picard did none of the above this weekend, when he shocked the world by becoming the first double-arm amputee to complete the race.
Picard pulled off the feat at the Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City this past weekend. It took him 16 hours and 42 minutes to get across the finish line.
"Many times during this race, the little voice in my head kept saying 'let's quit and go get a beer' so I punched it in the mouth and finished this race," Picard wrote on his Facebook page afterward.
Everything about Picard's performance is impressive, but what really stands out is that he blasted through the 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River in under an hour. He wrote on Facebook that he doesn't expect that to happen again and that he was thankful there was no floating poo in the water. Picard isn't taking a pot shot at the Hudson: Officials warned a few days before the race that a broken pipe was shooting partially treated sewage into the waterway.
One competitor had to be pulled from the river this weekend and was pronounced dead at a hospital in New Jersey, though the cause of death has not yet been determined.
Picard, who ran the race on behalf of the I Will Foundation, said on his Facebook page that his average speed for the first 56 miles of the bike portion was 20 mph, which ended up fatiguing him for the second half.
"The next 56 miles my legs were shot. The hills were brutal," he wrote.
Picard, who lost his arms after a workplace accident years back, has now completed as least 60 triathlons since 2009. And he has certainly earned the right to call himself an Ironman.