Once A Quadriplegic, Now An Ironman

  • By
  • Published Jun 24, 2011

After a remarkable recovery from an accident that left him paralyzed, Idaho man will race Ironman in Coeur d’Alene.

Finishing an Ironman triathlon, which consists of a a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon, is a remarkable feat for any athlete. But 30-year-old John Carson, who will retire from the sport after this weekend’s Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is no ordinary athlete.

Two years ago, Mr. Carson was training on his bicycle near his home on Long Island, N.Y., when a sport utility vehicle smashed into him from behind. He remembers fading in and out of consciousness and waking up in the intensive care unit as a quadriplegic.

Doctors offered little hope for recovery. The accident had injured his cervical spine. But within a week he began regaining limited use of his arms and hands, a development he says confounded his doctors. Still, Mr. Carson said doctors gave him little chance of regaining the use of his legs.

Despite these challenges, a year after the accident, Mr. Carson completed the 2010 Lake Placid Ironman in 14 hours 56 minutes, a respectable time for an able-bodied athlete. Before the accident, Mr. Carson had completed an Ironman in 10 hours 32 minutes.

This weekend he is taking on the Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, where he hopes to raise at least $10,000 for spinal cord research. But it will also be his last Ironman.

Read more: New York Times


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