HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As if swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles isn't tough enough on your body, imagine doing the marathon portion while carrying a rugby ball.
"December of 2017, he came home for Christmas break and he was in a car accident and he passed away," explained Steve Soileau. "A friend of his left this ball at the accident site."
Soileau's son, Garrett, was only 22 when he was killed.
He was a college rugby player who dreamed of getting other kids involved in the sport.
But surely, the outgoing athlete who went by the nickname 'G-Swolls' never could have imagined that his father would one day carry his rugby ball while taking on the toughest physical challenge of his life: The Ironman Triathlon.
"It's been tough, but training has helped me," he said. "When I'm on my runs, I cry, I deal with my emotions, it's my opportunity to get rid of some stress and deal with it."
It turns out, a rugby ball doesn't have to feel so heavy, if you can just let yourself do some of the work for you.
"His legs will carry me through the run," he said.
For more information on the family's non-profit honoring Garrett, go here: https://garrettsoileaumemorialfoundation.com/