Athlete Todd Robinson’s Ironman Dream Becomes a Reality

Editor’s Note: Many people have big dreams and goals, but few see them fulfilled. To make your dreams come true, you need a plan and a never-quit attitude. Athlete Todd Robinson of Alpharetta, Georgia, a sales representative for At Home Medical, dreamed of competing in an Ironman competition from a wheelchair and traveling more than 140 miles in less than 24 hours relying only on the strength of his upper body. This month, he’ll see his dreams become a reality. Part 4 of a four-part series.

Question: Todd, what made you think you could compete in an Ironman Triathlon competition, and what made you start training for it?

Todd racing in Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race

Todd racing in Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race

Robinson: I ran some road races when I lived in Mobile, Alabama. I’d also competed in a marathon in my wheelchair, which was a disaster. I’d only had my wheelchair for 3 or 4 weeks when I decided to do a marathon. I nearly died. After that race, I realized that to do a marathon in a wheelchair, you need to train first!

In my first marathon, a city bus pulled out in front of me when I was coming down a hill, and I pulled the rubber push ring off the rim. So, I had to push the wheelchair with one wheel that didn’t have a push ring on it for a few miles. A guy riding with me on a bicycle got tools and helped put the push ring back on the wheel of my wheelchair.

Todd competing in field events as his friend Chris Malcom cheers him on!

Todd competing in field events as his friend Chris Malcom cheers him on!

When I entered this race, I had no idea how much physical strength was required to run a marathon in a wheelchair. I finished in 3 hours, and when I crossed the finish line, all I wanted to do was lay down and go to sleep. After that race, I wondered what I could have done, if I’d gotten in shape and trained for this race. At that time, my main focus was basketball.

When I moved to Georgia, I went to a track meet in South Carolina and met a few friends who encouraged me to get involved with the track team at the Shepherd Center, one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the nation located in Atlanta, Georgia.

I started practicing with the Shepherd Center’s track team and became involved in long-distance racing and marathons. Now I’m not an elite athlete, but I love to compete. So, my first goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It took a while, but I did qualify.

I could complete a marathon, but it took one year of training to get fast enough for the Boston Marathon. I needed a qualifying time of 2 hours and 10 minutes, and I had completed a marathon in 2.01 hours. I’d wanted to do the Boston Marathon for a long time. To finally cross the finish line with so many people hollering and screaming for me gave me the incentive to do it. I never thought I’d be fast enough. My dad was at the finish line, and I’ll remember and cherish that moment forever.

Todd’s father will be waiting for him at the finish line this month too when Todd competes in the RedMan Ironman Triathlon competition in Oklahoma that will be held on September 24, 2011.  The race includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile race that Todd will complete in his wheelchair. Todd will travel about 140 miles in 17 hours as part of the event. We hope you’ll join us in cheering him on, beginning right now and all the way through the finish!

Todd's wife and kids will be ready to celebrate with him after the Redman Triathlon. He's a king in their eyes no matter how he finishes.

Todd's wife and kids will be ready to celebrate with him after the Redman Triathlon. He's a king in their eyes no matter how he finishes.

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-841-1233.

One Response to Athlete Todd Robinson’s Ironman Dream Becomes a Reality

  1. Pingback: Up in the Air in a Wheelchair with Athlete Todd Robinson « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

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