My name is John Young and I recently turned 50 years old. I teach high school math and coach swimming at Pingree School, a small prep school north of Boston. I am married to my wife Sue now for over 20 years and we have a 13 year old son named Owen. I was born in Canada where I lived until 1999, when my wife and I moved to Hong Kong to live for four years. We have been here in Massachusetts since 2003.
I was born with achondroplasia, the most common form of disproportionate short-stature. In simple terms, I am a dwarf or little-person (LP). Sometime in 2006, I was dealing with some major health issues related to being diagnosed with severe sleep-apnea. When things started looking better and I began to lose some considerate body weight, I decided to try to live a healthier lifestyle. While getting back to swimming, I started doing a little bit of cycling. I then watched a video of Dick and Rick Hoyt complete an Ironman triathlon and through their example of “YES YOU CAN”, I decided to train and then complete my first triathlon. That was a sprint distance race in Lowell, MA in 2009.
Since that first race I have now completed more than 35 triathlons, which include 7 Half-Iron distance races. I have also completed more than 15 Half-marathons and 7 marathons. Out of the 7 marathons, it includes 2 NYC marathon finishes, and 3 Boston finishes (2x Boston qualifier)
The obvious challenges for me are my shorter limbs and therefore a smaller bike. I really don’t view it as a challenge as I’ve been this way my entire life.
I registered for my first Ironman distance race, and on October 1st I intend to start and finish Ironman Maryland, thereby becoming the first person with dwarfism to complete an Ironman.