GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Supported by his teammate and father, a Rockford man with cerebral palsy officially completed his first full-distance Iron Man.
On Saturday, Johnny Agar and his father, Jeff, participated in their sixth Iron Man competition in Maryland. This time, they were able to complete their first full distance triathalon and officially be named Iron Men.
With a time of 16:55:35, Johnny let out a victorious scream and the duo broke into tears at the finish line.
“I know the behind-the-scenes things and what it took to have that moment and it was just a release of so much thankfulness and so much hard work that it just had to be let out somewhere and that’s how it came out,” Johnny Agar said.
The competition began with a 2.4-mile swim in a river before a 112-mile ride through a wildlife refuge and then a 26.2-mile run.
Johnny said it’s important that his he and his father have something fun to do together. They have participated in five other Iron Man competitions, including one in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where they did not finish in 2016.
“It’s been a dream of Johnny’s to officially become an Iron Man,” said Jeff Agar. “We’ve been big encouragers of failure and not getting things on the first try is just part of the process. I credit my wife the most. Even when we didn’t make it through Kona originally, back in 2016, she said ‘some great things are going to come out of this, I just know it.’”
In 2021, Johnny and his mother wrote a book about his Iron Man experiences called “The Impossible Mile: The Power in Living Life One Step at a Time”. He has also been in commercials for Under Armor with Michael Phelps and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
“None of those things would have happened, had we made it through,” Jeff said. “I think we’ve inspired a lot of people, hopefully motivated a lot of people that, you just can’t give up. You know, you just got to keep working, keep finding ways through stuff.”