SPOKANE, Wash. -

There is a huge community of triathletes in the Inland Northwest who are now mourning the loss of Scott Roy, a mentor, coach and founder of Spokane's TeamBlaze Triathlon Club.

Roy died unexpectedly just over a week ago.

The heart pounding excitement of the world of triathlons was Scott Roy's favorite past time. He competed in every distance of triathlon and was always among the top athletes to cross the finish line.

Then, in the summer of 2010, doctors discovered Scott's mitral valve was failing and he needed heart surgery. In November of 2010 he received a mechanical valve and began to re-evaluate his life.

With the blessings from his doctors and family he made a surprising decision: "I thought you know what, I want to start living my life again, so I just got this crazy idea, I said why don't I do the Ironman?"

And that's exactly what he did just months after his surgery when he finished Ironman Coeur d'Alene. The race took him more than five hours longer than any Ironman he'd done before but he enjoyed every step of the way and wanted to share his experience with everyone.

"We all only get one journey through life, so you want to look back and go, I did the things I wasn't to do you know and I lived my life and I inspired other people," Scott said.

Sadly Scott's journey ended April 29 when his heart failed him one final time, rocking the close knit community of athletes he knew and loved. Athletes like Jessica Fitzpatrick, who will race Ironman Coeur d'Alene this June.

"On that day, I'll think a lot about Scott and use that to catapult me to the finish line," Jessica said.

TeamBlaze members are still mostly in shock over Scott's sudden death but the training must go on because that's what Scott would want.

"He was a fantastic person, always upbeat, extremely caring, it's gonna be hard," Dion Daugherty with TeamBlaze said.

At a group bike ride over the weekend, Scott's friends showed that they're now more intent than ever to carry on his message.

"It comes back to enjoying the journey, so that's what he taught me, and I miss him; he touched my life in a positive way and I'm happy to have known him," Nicole Lund with TeamBlaze said.

Scott Roy was just 38 years old and is survived by his wife Tristin and young son Reece. Scott was signed up to race the Ironman in Arizona; his wife has decided she will be doing it in his memory.

A memorial for Scott Roy will be held Wednesday at Life Center Church on Government Way at 1 p.m.

You can help Scott's family by donating to the Scott Roy Memorial Fund at any Sterling Bank branch.