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A pair of Utahns, South Jordan's Dean Bullock and Lyle Anderson of Hurricane, are among the seven winners of the 2013 Kona Inspired Program, the IRONMAN organization announced Wednesday.
The honor means that Bullock, who has brain cancer, and Anderson, who has multiple sclerosis, will get a spot to compete in the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship triathlon on Oct. 12, 2013 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The championship requires to competitors to bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles and swim 2.4 miles.
The Kona Inspired Program was created in 2012 to provide a platform for "Kona dreamers" to share their stories of how they represent the IRONMAN mantra that anything is possible. A group of 45 finalists were selected from stories submitted to IRONMAN, and the general public was invited to vote for its favorites.
Anderson was diagnosed with MS six years ago. Still, he finished the 2012 IRONMAN St. George and hoped to be an example to others suffering with a chronic disease.
Bullock has participated in three IRONMAN triathlons and five Boston Marathons and has had a lifelong dream of competing at Kona. He refuses to let brain cancer define him.
The other winners are Naomi Cermak of Cambridge, Ont.; Win Charles of Aspen, Colo.; Terry Kennedy of Norah Head, New South Wales, Australia; Kelly Miyahara of Los Angeles and Nicholas Tierney of Powell, Ohio.
The winners will receive a Kona Inspired-branded race kit. In Hawaii, the winners and their two guests will receive VIP seating at the Welcome Banquet, Aloha Reception, Race Day Viewing and Awards Banquet.