From IRONMAN finisher to hero

From IRONMAN finisher to hero
Published: May. 7, 2022 at 11:02 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Most competing in an IRONMAN have wanted to check the triathlon off their bucket list.

This was the case on Saturday for nearly 1300 people competing in the Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast.

While one athlete finished the race, he also became a hero.

‘Too stubborn to quit and my goal was to finish, wish it had been timed a little bit better but my goal was to finish and that’s what I did,” Andrew Wilson, Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast Finisher said.

After nine hours 22 minutes and some seconds, Wilson finished the 2022 Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast.

He may have been the last one to cross the finish line but, it’s what he did during the run that stood out.

During the run, he noticed a fellow runner was not doing too well, and he immediately stepped in to help.

“She looked like she was having some heat exhaustion issues. she got very wobbly on her legs, one other racer got to her and got an arm under her and I got there a couple of steps behind,” Wilson said.

Wilson says once they were both able to get a good hold of her they moved her to a nearby spot to get further assistance.

“We ended up having to walk her over to one of the restaurants there and they got her some ice and water for her,” Wilson said.

For Wilson, he says he instantly kicked into action because she needed it.

When asked if he gave it any hesitation--“No second thoughts,” he said.

As for what he learned overall from this race?

“A lot of lessons learned, reset the training schedule. Give it about a week and sign up for it again,” Wilson said.

What’s next for the athlete-turned hero?

“An ice bath,” Wilson said.

Congratulations to Andrew and all the nearly 1300 that competed in the event.

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