"When you get to that finish line ... it brought tears to my eyes," he said. "At the same time, it was a stark reality that I'm only at half of where I need to be."
Early to rise: A disciplined regime
No one doubts him now. He wakes up at 3 a.m. on weekdays to run, swim and strength train before he leaves for work at 6 a.m. On weekends, he's usually up by 6 a.m. to cycle. When the family travels, his first call is to find the nearest YMCA with a pool.
He weighs 202 pounds, about 20 pounds from his goal weight. He has gotten off two blood pressure medications, sleeps better and is a much more pleasant person to be around, his wife reports.
"Nobody would ever say anything to me anymore," he said. "I'm way more fit than the average person these days, and I'm proud of that. And I'm not going to quit."
Hyatt is saving money for the $625 entry fee required to participate in the Louisville Ironman in August. And he won't be stopping there.
After the Ironman, he's got his sights set on ultramarathons, trail running and the Boston Marathon (to qualify, he'd need to shave more than an hour off his current time). He also wants to win a race.
"The human body is capable of so much more than you can fathom if you have the mental fortitude to put past the artificial limits that your brain places on it," he said. "The harder it sounds or the more challenging it is, the more appealing it is to me."
Shelley no longer worries how much life insurance they have, though she does wonder when he'll be home from his long runs or bike rides. On the upside, he cooks dinner for the family nearly every night to make sure the food is prepared healthily.
"There are time when I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe you're doing this; I can't believe how insane I am to let you do this,' " she said. But, ultimately, she said, "I'm so happy and so thankful because he's adding years to his life."