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Iraq Veteran and Cancer Survivor Does the Impossible

Ironman Clay Treska
Hawaii 24/7 Karin Stanton
Ironman Clay Treska

Clay Treska has achieved his impossible dream. Over the weekend, Treska, the war veteran and cancer survivor who I recently described on this blog as the most courageous person I've ever known, did what virtually no one except Clay himself thought was possible: he completed the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, one of the most grueling endurance races in the entire world.

A Marine Staff Sgt. who was stationed at Camp Pendleton and veteran of the fighting in Iraq, Treska is also a survivor of what doctors told him was terminal testicular cancer. Not expected to live past last December, Clay spent the last 13 months in the hospital going through a brutal and seemingly endless treatment of high-dose chemo and the use of his own stem cells to literally bring him back from the brink of death.

He also spent much of that time training for the Ironman... in the hospital ward, running around the nurse's station and the grounds of the hospital, and working out wherever he could and whenever his body would let him.


Now he is officially an Ironman. His time, which is far less important than the fact that he simply finished, was 15 hours, 16 minutes and 58 seconds. The NBC coverage of the event won't be shown until Dec. 18, and Treska, a student at San Diego State University who will be coming home to San Diego shortly, will be one of the featured athletes in the network piece.

Karin Stanton, a journalist with Hawaii 24/7 who covered Clay from the race's start to its finish, reports: