BY BY STEVE BRAMUCCI | PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHANE REICHARDT
Bonner Paddock exemplifies the word “grit.” At 33, the Laguna Beach resident became the first person with cerebral palsy to summit Mount Kilimanjaro unassisted. A few years later, in 2012, he finished the grueling Ironman triathlon in Kona, Hawaii – another astounding feat of endurance.
Between training and working full time as the marketing director for Young’s Market Company, Paddock also launched the OM Foundation, which provides support for children with disabilities in Tanzania and Orange County. This month, between dozens of speaking engagements and the launch of his first book, One More Step, Paddock chats about his favorite places to train, his proudest moment and his dream of taking a helicopter to Catalina.
My Orange County training regimen When I was training for the Ironman, I’d do my swims on the south side of Crystal Cove – swimming north toward the point, turning and coming back the opposite direction. Biking was up the Santa Ana River Trail, starting in Huntington Beach and riding out all the way past Angel Stadium. When I’d do my 100-mile rides, I’d make three round trips. For the run, there was a figure-eight loop in Newport Coast, near my old condo, that featured a steady climb and ocean views.
In those painful middle miles during the marathon segment of the Ironman I thought of Juliana, a girl from Tanzania who was flown in by the OM Foundation to Orange County to have her legs amputated. This amputation made her life dramatically easier, but considering the fact that she was still rehabbing in Irvine when I was competing in Hawaii, it offered a great reminder of how much harder things could be. When my feet were bloody and nasty and aching – I was inspired by the thought of her.