Local “Miracle Man” recognized at Rexburg Rush triathlon

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) – Tri-peaks events brought back the Rexburg rush Saturday, for the first time in roughly 8 years.

Many hardworking triathletes were there to participate and be recognized for their efforts in completing the triathlon. And at the finish line to congratulate them – a familiar face, Rod Hutchins.

Also known as the “miracle man,” Rod spent 23 years overcoming his physical limitations to compete in the Iron Man course in Kona, Hawaii back in 2019.

Since then, Rod’s been diagnosed with Chronic Thrumbo Embolic Pulmonary Hypertension with exercise-induced Pulmonary Artery Hypertension.

An extremely rare condition, that limits his blood oxygenation to 33% and puts him in extreme pain with any physical activity.

“He’s also dealt with a lot of damage to nerves. And so just even touching things with that right hand has a sensitivity that just kind of puts his pain levels off the chart,” said physical therapist Chris Rigby.

Despite the challenges, Rod has completed a total of four separate triathlon races just in the span of the summer through physical therapy. Of the four races, three were sprint-level triathlons and one was full Olympic triathlon.

Saturday, rod received a medal of recognition for completing his first Olympic-level triathlon since his diagnosis. 

“We really believe we’ll be able to get Rod’s body so it can heal itself to the standpoint where he really can move forward not only in his normal life but to be able to pursue his vision, his mission, his goal of being an inspiration and returning actually to Kona, where we’re shooting for 2023,” said Holistic health expert Kathleen McGowan.

And Rod continues his journey to be able to do “his race at his pace” in Kona, Hawaii 2023. His reason, to inspire people around the world to go after their dreams regardless of their challenges, limitations, or setbacks.

“In pioneering this journey, those people that are first with you, Are the most critical people in the journey because they’ll be with you the whole journey,” said Hutchins.