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Local father and son who has cerebral palsy prepare to compete in famed Kona Ironman

Posted: 12:30 AM, Jun 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-17 00:30:36-04

The bond between a father and a son is sacred. They teach us the basics, from the ground up, and when it comes to sports, to our eager eyes, no one can hit it further, throw it harder, or run faster than dad can.

One duo is now setting its sights on the worlds most challenging event, by taking it one step at a time.

Fathers often have a hand in their sons collection of "firsts," like a first swimming lesson, a first bike ride, even their first steps.

"When he first announced he wanted to walk a mile in a race, the most he ever walked was 20 steps," Jeff Agar said.

Watching sports with dad was his first love, but running together quickly took over.

"It's very difficult to have athletic events that you can do together," Jeff added.

And for the past 6 years, they have. It started small, with each race run by dad, but finished by both.

"We just had a person the other day say 'Johnny could be a professional athlete!' And I laughed, and he said 'no I'm serious, he really could be," Becky Agar added.

"A person like me being able to endure endurance races, I think it's a tremendous lesson for me, it teaches me that anything is possible," Johnny Agar said.

"Who would have ever thought, my son with cerebral palsy was going to be able to participate in an event of this magnitude," Becky added.

In an ESPN E:60 story from a few years ago, Johnny challenged himself to walk the final mile of a 5K, and realized the true feeling of competition and completion on his own, that powerful day, was the day his athletic dreams began to be realized.

"You have the ability to do something special and its up to you to make that become a reality," Johnny added.

"My dad has really been my biggest inspiration and my biggest athlete that I look up to because of his determination to get me across that finish line," Johnny said.

The duo now faces its biggest test, as they've been invited to run the worlds toughest race, the Kona Ironman World Championship Triathalon, which will test both Johnny and Jeff's limits, in unfathomable ways.

"Couldn't Johnny get into stamp collecting or something other kind of hobby? He loves to participate in races, this, by far, will push me to the edge of what my physical limitations are. Just the iconic nature or Ironman and how brutal of an event it is, if we're able to finish this, it would really be a cap to a pretty good career of working on these races," Jeff said.

And the Johnny Agar fan club just keeps growing. From famous athletes like Justin Verlander to countless kids facing their own challenges, the Agar's have embraced their story and ability to help others.

"It's kind of grown and we've gotten feedback from people, it's just a really neat thing to be able to see my son inspire people," Becky Agar added.

"I'm just doing what I love," Johnny said.

"Being an athlete is something that I've really wanted to do my entire life and it's something that my parents always told me I could do, the fact that it's inspiring people all around the world, I give back to them, and they give back to me as well so it really goes well both ways."