For roughly 12 hours Saturday in Hawaii, Brady Murray of Meridian will swim, bike and run with a 4-year-old Peruvian girl on his mind.
Murray earned a spot in the Ironman World Championship through the Kona Inspired contest, which allowed prospective racers to tell their stories with online videos. Viewers selected the winners.
Murrays video featured his 5-year-old son Nash, who has Down syndrome, and his charity RODS Racing, which raises money to subsidize adoptions of children with Down syndrome.
Murray met Maelie the latest beneficiary of RODS Racing in June when he visited Peru in his role as an advisory board member for the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State.
This race, I definitely have ideas of what I want to accomplish, said Murray, a 34-year-old financial adviser. When its all said and done, its not about any of that. I consider myself here on business ultimately, its about finishing and the good that will come from doing this race.
RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome) Racing has raised money for three orphans in the past 10 months, Murray said. The Ironman trip has helped him spread the word about his effort through media interviews and the people he has met as a Kona Inspired athlete.
The Facebook app myList, which is the presenting sponsor for the race, also has agreed to sponsor Murray individually, he said.
Nash is a little celebrity over here, Murray said.
Murray has been competing in triathlons for three years. This will be his second full-length race a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.
Theres definitely some nerves to it, he said. Its the hardest endurance race on the face of the planet.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398
ARMSTRONG WONT RACE AT IRONMAN
For the past year, Lance Armstrong has achieved a competitive second act in the triathlon, a sport he had not pursued since his teen years.
And while cycling is at the center of the extensive details released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday regarding its investigation of Armstrong, his relatively new athletic career also drew interest from the agency, and his ability to continue competing in triathlon events has been called into question.
According to the investigation, Armstrongs professional relationship with Michele Ferrari, who was a consulting physician to him and some of his cycling teammates and who received a lifetime ban from the agency in July, continued even into preparation for Armstrongs new career in triathlon.
Armstrong won Ironman events in Hawaii and Florida this year, fueling speculation that he would compete in Kona this weekend. But in June, organizers decided to maintain their policy that prohibits an athlete from competing if they are the subject of a doping investigation.
Armstrong is currently banned from competitions that are sanctioned by Olympic governing bodies like USA Triathlon.
The running community has not been entirely open to Armstrong, either. The Chicago Marathon rejected Armstrongs bid this fall.