I was born with achondroplasia, the most common form of disproportionate short-stature. In simple terms, I am a dwarf or little-person (LP). In 2005, I weighed 195 lbs and was diagnosed with a severe case of sleep-apnea. Once I started using a CPAP machine I immediately lost 10 pounds and began to gain back some of my youthful energy. I returned to swimming and started to do some cycling, thereby losing more weight and becoming even more active again.

Then I watched a video of Dick and Rick Hoyt (an inspirational triathlon story involving a loving father and a son with ) and through their example of “YES YOU CAN”, I decided to complete my first triathlon.

That first race was back in 2009. I have now completed more than 35
triathlons including seven ½-Ironman distance races, 10+ half-marathons, and 7 marathons including both the NYC and Boston marathons. My ultimate dream is to be the first LP to complete a full Ironman. I have registered to race in Ironman Maryland this October.

I was more than excited when the Toronto Triathlon Festival (TTF) was created and I was able to return to my hometown and race back in 2012 alongside the likes of Simon Whitfield and Paula Findlay. I raced it as well in both 2013 and 2014. I can honestly say nothing was more exhilarating than cycling on both the Gardiner Expressway and the DVP. I fondly remember driving on both of those highways back in the 80’s and 90’s. Truthfully though, I was usually stuck in traffic, moving nowhere!

As a Para-triathlete, the TTF has been more than accommodating to my needs and I was welcomed by the race director, course volunteers and other athletes. I will continue to return to my hometown whenever possible to race in what I would have to say is my favourite Olympic distance triathlon.

Both my wife and 13 year old son are also LPs. My son used to struggle with the realization that he will never be the fastest or biggest kid in his school. By watching me race, he has learned that finishing a race ahead of other people is not the most important thing to do. What is important is challenging yourself and setting goals and achieving those goals, all the while not worrying how you measure up against others.

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