HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Over the past 30 years, Ben Hughes competed in almost 200 triathlons, but last September he decided to try something new.
"I saw that the 2015 edition of the Ironman in Chattanooga was going to be on September 27," Hughes said. "That date rang a bell with me because that's the date that my mother passed away."
Hughes mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine years old.
"A little voice went off in my head about why not do the race in her memory and raise funds for the pink ribbon fund here in Hattiesburg," he said.
Hughes raised over $8,500 through donations from friends, family and coworkers. However, the hard work did not stop there. The Ironman consisted of a 2.4-mile swim, 116-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.
"On an average week I trained for 12 to 17 hours, swimming two times a week and biking and running four to five times a week," Hughes said.
"Breast cancer had a major effect on my life and disrupted my family," Hughes said. "I think cancer in one form or another has touched everyone's lives."