GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — It takes endurance and courage to make it to the finish line in an Ironman Triathlon competition.
Shift commander for Guilford County Mike Hudspeth did it against all odds.
Mike holds on to his cellphone video showing him crossing the finish line while listening to the victory bell and people cheering for him.
“I wanted to quit,” Hudspeth said. “It’s still it’s an accomplishment for me because someone told me it was something that was not possible to happen.”
The New York Ironman at Lake Placid was Hudspeth’s first Ironman experience.
“It was … a bucket list thing that I wanted to get done,” Hudspeth said.
He endured hours of training for a Triathlon that lasted around 12 hours.
“It’s exhausting … 15 hours of exercise was not very easy. And I kind of underestimated some of that,” Hudspeth said.
On top of that, he works long hours as the shift commander for Guilford County.
He oversees the entire county and sends EMS crew to where someone needs help.
“I love doing what I do. I love helping people,” he said.
It wasn’t an easy road for him.
He has a scar on his left foot that reminds him how far he’s come after a training bike accident in 2019.
“I was out riding my bike one day, and I got I got struck by a vehicle on my bicycle and ended up shattering my left foot and had to have three surgeries,” Hudspeth said. “By the time I noticed that they weren’t stopping … I tried to get to the yellow line and get away from them … and pretty much got catapulted across the hood of the car.”
Three surgeries, multiple screws inside his bone and three months of recovery was what the doctor ordered.
They also told him not to run anymore.
“I actually was told by a couple of surgeons that I would never run again,” Hudspeth said.
It’s because of his determination that he wears his Ironman medal with pride.
“I’m sure I’m doing damage by trying to run, but it’s still satisfying to me, and it keeps me getting up in the mornings. And that’s kind of what drives me,” Hudspeth said.
He isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He’s planning ahead for his next Ironman competition.