3TSports was founded on the idea of paying forward good deeds, embracing the human spirit and overcoming odds. Our newest Team Member combines all those ideals. I am thrilled to introduce to you, Andrew Powell. Andrew says it best..."We just have to make sure that we don't give up".
Some of you may know the name already. Andrew was competing in the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans in 2014. Two days before the race, during a short training ride, Andrew and his brother were struck by a car traveling at over 70 mph. His brother-in-law was fatally injured instantly and Andrew’s injuries included a broken back in 3 places as well as a broken foot and hip. As a result, Andrew was paralyzed from the waist down…but that hasn’t stopped him. Here’s more about Andrew in his own words. We are so proud to have you on the team my friend. We have much good to do.
"When I was a kid I was always active. I did BMX, football, Soccer, martial arts and boxing. You will notice running and swimming are not on the list. I finished school, got married, and had a Son…but I also got out of shape.
To get back in shape, I started running in 1997 and in 1998, my Aunt convinced me to enter my first race. I ran the Peachtree Road Race and felt awful. After finishing, I thought I’d never do that again. The next day I realized if I train a little I might be able to do something with it and enjoy it more.
A few months later I was signed up for the Atlanta half marathon. At the event expo I saw a sign that said that you could switch races for 5 bucks, so I did and ran the full marathon instead. I had only trained for the half and felt awful after mile 15 but managed to finish in under 4 hours.
From 1998 to 2009 I had ran more than 30+ Marathons, over 30 ultra marathons and also some adventure races. My PRs were 2:57 marathon, 1:21 half, 36:56 10k and 17:11 5k.
In 2009 I had a virus that attacked my heart. I had heart failure one minute, and woke up with a pacemaker the next. I thought my running career was over! After a while I started running a little and my fitness was coming back. A year into my return, I decided that I wanted to run a Ironman! I figured that I had never done one so if I could just finish it would be a PR! I went on to finish 2 full Ironman races and a few 1/2 Ironman events.
In 2014 I was competing at the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans with my brother in-law. Two days before the race, we were hit by a car from behind traveling over 70 mph. My back was broken in 3 places, hip and foot also broken. It killed my brother in-law instantly. It took a few weeks to realize that I was paralyzed from the waist down and at that point I thought it was over for me. After months of PT and rehab I was blessed to be able to walk. Then I started trying to jog. This was a crash course.
By 2015 I was able to go back and finish the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans that my brother-in-law and I were supposed to have done the year before. It hurt a lot and it did not feel anything like it did before but I was happy to do it for me, for him, for the family.
What type of events do you enjoy most?: Triathlons, marathons, ultra marathon, and anyway that I can challenge myself. These days it is like starting over and everything is like a new challenge.
What interests you most about 3TSports?: I want to be able to give back. Sports has given me so much. I also know how hard it can be to over come struggles. I feel that I can help others that have had struggles like me and to let people know it is Ok. We just have to make sure that we don’t give up.