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news News Thursday, January 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 2:38 PM - Thursday, January 16, 2020 2:38 PM

Ironman World Championship competitor raises over $20,000 for the Boston Shriners Hospital

Ironman World Championship competitor raises over $20,000 for the Boston Shriners Hospital

Arlington, Massachusetts resident Pat Dwyer is a decorated triathlete and Ironman. For over 30 years, he has fiercely competed his way through the swimming, cycling and running legs of 15 Ironman distance races (2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bike; 26.2 mile run), including multiple trips to the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. It all came to halt for Pat in 2015, when he suffered a serious knee injury that put him on the sidelines. Surgery that required cutting his tibia bone and replacing cartilage resulted in two screws that are permanently fastened to a bone in his leg. This was followed by another surgery to repair a torn ACL, and a lengthy recovery process that was not without pain.

Pat was determined to return to racing competitively despite the challenges he knew he would encounter. As a father with two young children, Pat wanted his recovery and return to competition to be about more than crossing a finish line. Having experienced difficult surgeries and a long recovery, Pat was committed to honoring the resilience of children going through extremely difficult medical procedures. An encounter with the chief of staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston brought him to the hospital where he witnessed the amazing care provided for children with burn injuries and reconstructive needs. Reflecting on how inspired he was on that day, Pat shared, “Shriners is such a great organization. The thing that sticks with me most is that, for most of the Shriners patients, it is not one surgery...but rather multiple surgeries and procedures as the patients grow from children into adults. It was eye-opening.”

To raise money and awareness for Shriners Hospitals for Children, and with the support of his family and law partners, Pat trained to race Ironman Lake Placid, in Lake Placid, New York, this past July. However, the race didn’t go as planned and after encountering difficulty on the bike, Pat pulled out of the race during the beginning stages of the run. Distraught, but determined, Pat was able to enter Ironman Mont Tremblant, in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, a mere three weeks later. At Mont Tremblant, Pat was able to put together a solid day, in front of his wife and kids, to finish with a time of 9:55:19, and placing fourth out of 372 in his division, and 65th overall, thus qualifying him for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

This past October, Pat raced in his fifth Ironman World Championship finishing with a final time of 10:49:00, and placing 172nd out of 399 in his division. However, the race was far from easy. Out of all the times he competed in Hawaii, the conditions were the harshest. Wind was a significant factor and he had trouble toward the end of the running portion. Despite getting dizzy around the 20-mile mark, Pat was determined to finish the race. During the last mile of the race, people lined the streets, including his wife and kids, and the cheers and energy of the crowd carried him to the finish line.

Despite a rough day out on the course, Pat was happy with his finish, knowing he was competing with the best in the world (every year almost 100,000 people race, yet only less than 2,000 qualify for the Ironman World Championship). His accomplishment was even more special with the knowledge that he raised awareness and funds for the Shriners Hospitals for Children patients back in Boston.

Back home, Pat continued his fundraising, wanting to maximize his efforts. He recently wrapped up his campaign, and on an upcoming visit he will be welcomed and thanked by the hospital’s Board of Governors, staff and leadership.

Pat Dwyer’s decision to dedicate his athletic comeback to raise money and increase awareness is felt by the entire Shriners Hospitals for Children family. His dedication is an inspiring reminder of the connections the Boston Shriners Hospital makes with patients, their families, and the greater community.

For more information or to make a donation, visit: Ways to Give.

Pat Dwyer on bicycle