Former Heart Transplant Patient Takes on IRONMAN Competition Video

Justin received a transplant in 2009 and raced in IRONMAN in 2013.

Claudette Rogers: The IRONMAN competition calls on the strongest of men to swim, bike and run, but Justin Feria hopes to prove he's the bravest with a brand-new heart. Tin Men is the name of IRONMAN's first team composed solely of heart transplant recipients. Feria is one of just five team members from around the country, competing in the Nov. 17 IRONMAN Arizona.

Justin Feria: I want to challenge myself and the goal I set for myself.

Rogers: In the summer of 2008 Feria was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was flying from New York where he was planning to attend graduate school when he started to notice something was wrong. He didn't think much of it and neither did doctors; he'd always been active playing baseball in college.

Feria: They thought, "OK, well he's having breathing problems. It's probably bronchitis."

Rogers: Doctors soon realized it wasn't bronchitis and conducted a heart transplant months later. With a new heart, Justin has his eye on IRONMAN. He has to make sure his heart rate doesn't get too high. If that isn't enough of a challenge, he's adamant on competing despite a recent knee injury.

Feria: But, like, you know, I've been given this amazing gift. I have a second chance at life and I am going to take every advantage of it.

Rogers: Justin leaves for his big adventure on Sunday. The IRONMAN Arizona is expected to take place on Nov. 17. Reporting from Fiesta Island, Claudette Rogers, U-T San Diego news.