mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner

Power Point: Triathlete with heart transplant races the Ironman

Oct 09, 2009

"It would put an exclamation point on my recovery."

-- Kyle Garlett, the first triathlete to compete in the Ironman World Championship with someone else's heart. Tomorrow is a special day: Garlett will be among 1,800 triathletes attempting to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles (a marathon) in Kona, Hawaii. It's also three years to the day when Garlett, 38, received his heart transplant. Garlett's own heart was damaged by treatments after he was diagnosed with leukemia four times. "I really want to finish the race, but it won't define anything about me," he said.

Clearly, he's already defined himself: Kyle Garlett, fighter.

I have my own special relationship with the Ironman in Kona. As a volunteer at the race four years ago, I handed a water bottle to the winner. And recently, I left the sidelines, completing my first Olympic distance tri (.9-mile swim, 25-mile bike, 6.2-mile run) on a rain-drenched Sunday in September, when I crashed my bike...and I'm hooked. A contingent from my triathlon club, Terrier Tri, is racing in Kona this week. Best of luck, Terriers--and if you're seeking inspiration, think of Kyle! --Jessica Shambora

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions