UPDATE: Joey Tharp Completes Ironman Triathalon to Honor His Nonverbal Autistic Brother and Support Saved By Typing

Joey Tharp celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the grueling 112-mile Ironman Triathalon

Over the last few months, we have been writing about Joey Tharp's plans to run the grueling IRONMAN Louisville Triathalon in honor of his brother Clayton, who, for 27 years, was unable to tell his brother that he loved him because Clayton has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that made him unable to speak or communicate in any effective way with his family or the outside world.

Joey's turned his efforts into a fundraising campaign called Racing for a Voice in support of Saved By Typing (SBT).

We are pleased and proud to announce that Joey successfully completed the 112-mile race last weekend. His training and dedication to the cause raised more than $12,000!

The race started with a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, then continued with a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride, and concluded with a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. Joey showed incredible stamina and great spirit, smiling and high-fiving well-wishers as he kept up a grueling pace to finish in a time of 13 hours, 54 minutes, and 42 seconds, which is very respectable for a first-timer.

Joey's goal was to raise more than $10,000 for Saved By Typing, and he far exceeded that goal. To date, more than $12,000 has been raised, and funds are still coming in.

Joey had this to say on his Facebook page:

"A day I won't forget for a long time. Anything is possible! Thank you to so many people who made this day possible. Kylee Tharp you are the best support system a husband could ever have. Seeing Clayton's smile at the finish was amazing. To god be the glory that I had the opportunity to even do this!

The SBT board will be planning events to maximize potential benefits and fill needs for typers. These include bringing Deborah Zelinsky, OD, a neuro-optometrist, to Indianapolis to educate parents and professionals about the power of light to heal the brain.

We are pleased to extend a Hearty Congratulations to Joey, and many thanks to all the kind souls who supported him! If you would like to show your support for Joey's endeavor, it is not too late. To donate to the Racing for a Voice fundraiser on GoFundMe, click here.

What is an IRONMAN Triathalon?

For those who don't know about it, the IRONMAN Triathalon is an extreme world-class 140.6-mile race widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. An IRONMAN consists of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bicycle ride, then finished with a grueling 26.22 mile marathon run, all without a break.

IRONMAN Triathalons are run worldwide, and participants range from world-class professional athletes to amateurs racing for the first time. Racers must complete the course in under 17 hours to be designated an Ironman. Watch this video of the 2016 IRONMAN Louisville to see what it's all about.

Visit the IRONMAN Louisville website for more information.