CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A local man is counting his blessings after he was seriously injured training for a triathlon. But after a remarkable recovery, he’s now counting down the days until he flies to Hawaii to compete in an Ironman competition.
“I’m feeling as good as I possibly could under the circumstances and its tremendously relieving to be able to say that,” said Mark Hoffman. “I feel great. I feel very fortunate to be where I am. I’ve come a long way since it all happened.”
Five months ago Hoffman was in the hospital recovering from two broken ribs and two broken vertebrae.
Hoffman was training for an Ironman with other bicyclists in May when they were hit by a tractor trailer.
“So when the accident happened I was in the one of the most vulnerable positions I have ever put myself in,” he said.
All of a sudden this Ironman was wondering if he’d ever walk again. But he trained in a brace for a while. But now he has the all-clear from his doctors to run the marathon, swim the two and half miles…and cycle the 112 miles that make up the Ironman World Championship.
“This is so much less about me and so much more about what everybody else has done to make it possible,” he said.
Hoffman is also the manager at Inside Out Sports in the South End. When the crash happened he didn’t have health insurance. He racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills. His friends and family raising more than $20,000 to make sure he got back on his feet and on the bike
“Very generous hearts. I think about that every day. It’s a big part about what gets me out of bed in the morning and makes me want to go and make the most of the opportunity they have given me,” he said.
As his training for Hawaii comes to an end. He’s approaching the race the same way he approached his recovery.
“You just keep plugging away. Again you take it one day at a time and now I am where I am which is very excited to go out and have this chance to be successful and to make a really good end to this story,” he said.
Hoffman leaves for Hawaii on the Monday. The Ironman World Championship is Saturday, October 14.