Welch told Paddock to “run his own race,” to not worry about the others and their times, just his own. His only goal was to finish before the 17-hour cutoff.
Paddock crossed the finish line in 16 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds amid raucous cheers and a booming voice over a loudspeaker: “Bonner Paddock… You are an Ironman.”
One Man, One Mission
“We all create our own barriers, and my CP was in my head,” Paddock says. “Everyone has their version of CP. It’s just up to us to break the barriers we may have that prevent us from overcoming limitations.”
Paddock doesn’t plan on breaking any more records anytime soon, but he hasn’t lost focus. Inspired by Jake and his visit to the Usa River School, he now works to help children with CP worldwide. In April 2009, he founded the OM (One Man, One Mission) Foundation, a non-profit committed to raising money to build early-learning centers for children with disabilities. The foundation has raised more than $1 million to build centers in Tanzania, Orange County, California, and Austin, Texas.
His strategy for building more centers so that all disabled children have the opportunity to overcome their limitations: one more step, then another.