The Ironman Triathlon is one of the toughest events in the world. Just finishing that event is quite an accomplishment.

Just finishing the race isn’t enough for one Tyler man.

Clay Emge has brought home three titles in the last 14 months.

CBS 19 was able to catch up with the Ironman today.

Emge said at an early age he realized he had a special gift.

“The first time we had to do the mile back in elementary school,” Emge said. “I was not a very fast sprinter i was just okay with that and I figured it would be the same with the mile, and then we went out and everyone else got tired and I just kept running. “

After running competitively for several years, Emge encountered some adversity along the way.

“In 2014, so three years ago, I had a pretty serious injury which kept me from running for about 6 months,” Emge said.

During his recovery to get healthy, he credits one special individual for her overwhelming support.

“My wife's great, she's always been there for me,” Emge said. “In difficult times and good times. And she's very supportive. She kept me from going crazy when I was hurt.”

He credits family being an important factor with his competitiveness.

The finish to Ironman races is pretty awesome…,” Emge said. “The best thing is finishing and having my wife and child right there waiting for me.”

As far as the future goes he just wants to focus on being a family man.

“I won’t be at this level of competitiveness for very long so I just want to be able to keep doing what I can and put my family first cause they're more important,” Emge said. “At the end of the day, just is just a hobby.”

Emge said competitors can burn anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 calories. He said the key is to load up on carbohydrates the night before the race.