IRONMAN TEACHER: Competing For Conner

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A local high school teacher is getting ready for the biggest race of his life. But, the Spanish teacher isn't just getting ready to run, bike and swim for himself. He has extra motivation.

It isn't a stretch for Lance Peterson to compete. He says, “I'd always been an avid runner and biker since college, but my wife kind of talked me into it."

Next year he'll train for distances most of us only dream. He says, "August 3rd, 2014, Boulder, Colorado.” He goes on to say, “An Ironman, you know, it's the biggest race in triathlon."

It's a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on the bike and a 26.2 mile run. Peterson says, "And you have 17 hours to complete that to be considered the Ironman."

Peterson isn't just competing for himself. He's running, biking and swimming for a student. He says, "This race, I've dedicated to Conner Mason, a student at Dowling Catholic where I teach."

Conner Mason turned 17 this year. He's battled a brain tumor the past three years. He recently stopped treatment. Peterson says, "Everyone is just sort of rallying around him and his family right now to show as much support as we can for him."

Peterson's goal is to raise $100 for every mile of the 140.6 mile race. That's $14,060 to help the family pay for Conner's medical expenses. He just started a little more than a week ago. He talks about the progress, "I'm barely into the swim portion of the race right now I would say."

Peterson will start training for the August Ironman on February 1st, and he says he'll think of the teen every step of the way. He says, "When you start getting tired, and you know what he's gone through, it will be a lot easier to not give up, to not quit, no matter what, to know he's struggled much more than just a race."

Peterson has raised more than $3,000 so far. Click here to check out Peterson's Ironman4Conner site.