DENVER (KDVR) — Running a marathon takes a certain toughness and that’s no problem for Army veteran Cedric King.

King completed the first leg of the Colfax Marathon relay on Sunday. The race adds to the growing list of accomplishments since King lost his legs in Afghanistan about a decade ago.

“We were doing a foot patrol,” said King.

King stepped on an improvised explosive device or IED. The blast cost him both legs.

“That’s where my story sort of starts at, the story into becoming the man you see now,” King said.

Through physical therapy, King eventually got linked with Achilles International, an organization that helps athletes with disabilities. He wasn’t a competitive runner before the accident, but King has since completed 17 marathons plus countless other races.

“This enabled me to try to find my way back to who I was before I lost my legs. You need something difficult so you know you can get through those tough days,” King said.

King typically runs with a guide just in case of an accident during the course. During Sunday’s race, John Roble, regional vice president with Cigna filled that role.

“Being a runner myself and a lifelong runner, it’s an honor for me to be beside a veteran who’s made considerable sacrifices for our country and kept us safe back at home,” said Roble.

King says the Colfax Marathon was a training race for him. He hopes to run the Boston Marathon next year.