Ironman competitor races for friend who died during training

HOUSTON – From start to finish, it's a race that's already won the heart of one little boy.

"Watch Bryan run for daddy," 7-year-old Zachary Tippit said.

When tragedy struck the Tippit family back in March, it only took two days for best friend Bryan Ford to realize what he had to do.

"This race is all about Craig and make sure that he gets to cross and finish the race," Ford said.

Craig Tippit, 37, was killed tragically when he was run over while on his bike, training for the upcoming Ironman competition.

[Details: Bicyclists killed in Waller County hit-and-run identified; suspect in custody]

"He was the best husband and the best father anyone could ask for, and I miss him," Craig's wife, Stephanie said.

After eight months of training, that soon-to-be Ironman was just four weeks away from the crossing the finish line. So to make sure he finished the race, Bryan is doing it for him.

"My friend was cheated from finishing something he started," Ford said.

He pushed from shore early in the morning to pursue his promise. Two miles later, he moved on to his bike.

KPRC2 caught up with Tippit, when he was over halfway through -- his number on top, Tippit's underneath.

"He was doing that for my husband, for the person that I love most in this world," Stephanie said.

Tippit's wife and mother of his two boys says Ford's sacrifice is giving them the closure they desperately need.

"Craig's already finished the race. He's already home. But he's looking down, and he is proud. And I cannot wait for them to say Craig Tippit, you are an Ironman. He is, he's an Ironman. He's an Iron-husband. He's an Iron-dad," Stephanie said.

If you would like to donate to the family, you can visit its GoFundMe page.