David and Beth James drove three days straight, 2,000 miles, from Colorado to compete in the event.
At 52 years old, the competition was Beth James' second Half-Ironman. She said her daughter, Liza, drives her determination.
"Her smile at the finish line. Her smile and her happiness is unbelievable," she said.
Liza suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash 13 years ago at the age of six.
"Two vehicles moving fast did not see us turning left at a green light," Beth James said. "It was a nick of the bumper that spun our vehicle around."
"Liza's little head hit the side of the car, just the side of the car in the backseat."
Liza lost the ability to walk. But her mother says her legs have now become Liza's.
The pair has competed in multiple marathons and now two triathlons.
"Training is critical to become strong enough to pull that additional weight and equipment," she said.
Liza will ride in a raft tethered to her mother for the 1.2 mile swim during the Raleigh Half Ironman.
Her mom will pull her in this trailer for the 56 mile bike ride. And her mom will push her for the final leg of the race – a half marathon.
"She is definitely special, but what she shows me at every event is beyond special," James said. "The happiness it gives her keeps this mother going."
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