Texas Man Attempting 20 Ironmans In 2008

COEUR D’ALENE — Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2008 is two days away, and there are thousands of athletes taking part in the race, each with a unique story.

But one man has a unique goal, and it is for a unique cause.

Sunday morning, Lake Coeur d’Alene will be the start of thousands of Ironman journeys through Coeur d’Alene. For anyone in the Ironman compeititon, it would be an exhilarating experience. But imagine doing it 20 times. Make that 20 times in one year.

“If you want to get people’s attention, you have to do something kinda out there,” says Michael Hennessey.

Hennessey, who is from Texas, is getting ready for his sixth Ironman this year. That is taking a toll on him physically.

“Being a father of six kids and doing 20 Iromans is out there,” he says. “I’ll have to agree.”

But Hennessey has a good reason to push his body so many times. He’s raising awareness for children with trisomy, a chromosonal disorder that causes learning and physical disabilities.

“There’s a lot of challenges they face and they’re precious,” Hennessey says. “People think they aren’t productive, but they’re wonderful little babies and we should fight for them.”

Hennessey wants parents of kids with trisomy to know there are options available, ways to help a child and family live with disability.

“They’ve got different challenges, differently abled,” he says. “They’re still beautiful, wonderful people.”

Hennesey has every intention of finishing this Ironman, and all the rest of them this year.