DELAWARE COUNTY (WCMH) — The Ironman in Delaware County brought people from across the country.
Approximately 2,600 athletes geared up for hours of swimming, biking and running.
For one man, though, Sunday’s race means a lot more because it could be one of his last chances to compete.
Meet Josh and John Drage, a father and son ready to tackle 70.3 miles of terrain in the 2019 Ironman Triathlon.
“This is really exciting,” said son Josh Drage. “We’ve been training for 4 to 5 months.”
But for John, this is more than just another race.
“Five months, every day. We live as hard as we can,” he said.
Five months ago, John heard the word no one ever wants to hear: cancer.
“Glioblastoma has an 18-month life expectancy from diagnosis, so that’s all anyone is saying, but everything is going great for me,” John said.
Glioblastoma is a form of brain cancer that usually starts in the cerebellum, the largest part of the brain.
John Drage isn’t letting the diagnosis stop him.
“We can’t just lay down and die,” he said. “Let’s get in and fight.”
“He has an ‘I can’ attitude about life,” said Amy Drage, John’s wife. “Who can do this and even what he’s going through. He’s really strong.”
Amy is still trying to process what could happen, but knows now is the time to keep the family closer than ever.
“I think about what it’s gonna be like when he’s not here,” she said.
Tackling a 1.2-mile swim, jumping on a bike for a 56-mile ride, and finishing with a 13.2-mile road race, nothing is getting in the way of Team Drage.
“I don’t think there is anyone else out here with his aggressive brain cancer and no one even knows because he’s fighting and competing,” said Josh.