Devotion: Rick van Beek, 39, carries his daughter Maddy, who suffers from cerebral palsy, during a sprint triathlon on Sunday. They have ran more than 70 races as Maddy loves being outdoors. (Neil Blake/Midland Daily News)
Fighter: In another race, van Beek pushes Maddy in a buggy during the running portion. (Photo/Facebook)
Ready: And for the cycling parts, he pulls her in a cart. They have competed in more than 70 races. (Photo/Facebook)
Pushing forward: Van Beek nears the water to take part in the swimming section of a triathlon with Maddy. (Photo/Facebook)
Endurance: Van Beek pulls his daughter through the water on the custom-made kayak.(Photo/Facebook)
A father's love: He said the racing also helped him get in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle for Maddy.(Photo/Facebook)
Happy family: Van Beek with his wife Mary and their daughter Maddy. The couple also has two other children.(Photo/Facebook)
A devoted father has completed a triathlon carrying his 13-year-old cerebral palsy-afflicted daughter across land and through water so that she could complete the gruelling event.
Rick van Beek's feat of endurance and show of love for his daughter Madison have led many to call the man from Byron Center, Michigan the 'father of the century'.
But it is not the first race of its kind for van Beek, who said he has participated in more than 70 events, including half-marathons, triathlons and other outdoor races, as part of 'Team Maddy'.
For the swimming portion, van Beek tugs his daughter through the water in a kayak and then pulls her behind him in a cart as he cycles. He runs the last leg pushing her in a buggy.
Van Beek, 39, told the Midland Daily News that he wants to complete the events with his daughter, who is unable to walk or talk, because she adores being outside