A Seattle teenager who suffers from cerebral palsy plans on running a half marathon with his mother. According to SeattlePI.com, the pair have several challenges to overcome to make it possible. The young man profiled cannot run, but accompanies his mother on running expeditions using his wheelchair. This presents some particular challenges that need to be addressed.
Running a half marathon is certainly a test of endurance, and that situation is no different for the young man’s wheelchair. One of the biggest challenges they face is getting the batteries to last long enough to hold out for the entire race. According to the article, the pair can run roughly 8 minute miles together, but rough terrain, hills and other challenges tend to cause the battery in the wheelchair to drain more quickly.
There have been incidents already where the batteries in the wheelchair have given out just before the end of a race. In one incident, friends of the family helped push the wheelchair across the finish line.
Another challenge that they face is making certain that the feeding pump that the young man requires doesn’t freeze up in cold conditions. Currently, the pair has been running in conditions as cold as 50°F, and the weather certainly present some challenges for the endeavor.
Initially, they started running with the father following behind in a car, giving warning to other drivers that there was a disabled runner on the road. This led to some conflicts with police, who said that they could not obstruct traffic in that way. This will be another issue that the mother and son have to deal with to figure out how to complete the half marathon.
The young man’s physicians are even getting in on the action, planning to run the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon this year themselves, after having been inspired by his determination to finish the event.