Seventh and Eighth grade history teacher Scott Benedict started his Tuesday morning with cheers and applause from all the students and faculty at Legacy Traditional School – Northwest Tucson.

Over the weekend, Mr. Benedict competed in and finished the Iron Man Arizona race in Tempe.

The challenge consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon run (26.2 miles). He’s spent the last year preparing for it alongside his son and son-in-law.

Two sessions a day, before school and after,” he said. “And then the weekends having a long bike ride of like six hours, going up Mount Lemmon and things like that.

Mr. Benedict finished in 14 hours and 43 minutes, battling the blinding sun and strong winds throughout.

The school gave Mr. Benedict a special shout out at its flag ceremony, setting the tone for the students’ Turkey Trot later that day.

Ive already been asked if Im going to trot, and I would love to. Lets go run. Lets get it.

And he had only finished the race two days ago.

Mr. Benedict says more than anything, he hopes his accomplishment inspires his students to achieve their own challenging goals.

You can do it,” he said. “Nothings impossible if you have a good plan, and youre realistic about that plan. So Im super grateful to be just part of a small piece of these students lives.”