A true symbol of perseverance, 81-year-old Hiromu Inada began as an athlete at the ripe age of 69, having finished three of the four Ironman competitions he has since taken part of. Inada is one of the few Ironman athletes in their early eighties who, aside from what those watching might outwardly discern, holds much more within. As a true definition of the Ironman emblem, Hiromu spends his time divided between forty hours of intensive training and life as a father and husband. During the 2012 Kona triathlon, Hiromu had to be pulled out of the water due to a sudden attack of hyperpnoea, coming as a surprise to everyone. Those faced with these same odds might view surrender as a viable option. However, at the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, he finished like a champion—only to find he had missed the official 17 hour deadline by only five minutes. Untouched by this in the slightest, Hiromu trains to this very day to assure that when that day comes when he does cross the finish line to become a victor, the world will recognize him for the true champion he already is.

Photojournalist: Matt Kegans, Grassroots News Intl.