Twin brothers Steen and Peder Madrup were born three months early in 1980, weighing only 2.6 pounds. Peder also suffered a lack of oxygen at birth, resulting in cerebral palsy and life confined to a wheelchair.
As they grew up Steen became interested in athletic activities while Peder devoted his time to organizations and clubs as a spokesman for the disabled.
Despite Peder’s struggled he felt determined not to let his handicap dictate his life and limit his opportunities. One day Peder suggested to Steen that they both race and finish an Ironman together.
However, an Ironman is no small task even for the most able-bodied man and woman. It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride and a 26.2 mile run. Training was no small chore.
The brothers actually first attempted to complete a half Ironman, but sadly had to give up 20 km into the bicycle stage because the bike was breaking apart. This photo is of the two disappointed brothers waiting to get picked up by their older brother.
Steen has a tattoo on his left leg that helps remind him never to give up. He had previously trained for two different Ironman races only to give up due to injuries. But he would not be deterred.
Special equipment had to be made, such as a harness for Steen to pull his brother after him in an inflatable kayak.
In order to get from the water to the bike Steen is forced to carry Peder.
Due to the cold, Peder is forced to focus at lying completely still in order to prevent his shaking from turning into detrimental cramps.
The twin’s mother, Else, cheering her boys on.
The last leg of the race had to be run in the dark as the two fought to finish within the 23 hour time constraint. If they went a second past 23 hours they would not be recognized as officially completing the Ironman challenge.
15 hours, 47 minutes and 38 seconds after the beginning of the race, the twins triumphantly reached the finish line.
The two were exhausted, but thrilled with joy.
The look of pure victory!
That is the story of the Ironman Twins. Let their legacy be that they refused to give up no matter how difficult the obstacles.