(photo:international business times, REUTERS, Lucas Jackson)
This is such an inspiring story that I had to share it with all of you. It was mentioned by One of my coworkers who knows I am a crazy marathoner who loves hearing stories about other Amazing runners.
Alex and Jamie Schneider are pretty incredible. When they were at a young age, their dad realized how much the two boys enjoyed chasing him around. They also are severely autistic and unable to communicate verbally. After discovering their sons natural athletic tendencies towards running, the family quickly got into the sport by finding organizations who help by running with kids who have disabilities.
By the time the twins were 15 years old-it was clear that they were born to run. Both need assistance from a guide, and wear ID bracelets on every run. (this is a good habit for ANY runner to have!) Through the years-They have run around 130 races-from the 5k distance to the marathon, and everything in between. 130 races. That is incredible!!!!
The twins vary in their running techniques. Alex has a focus of setting faster PR’s for himself. He is a natural speed demon who has a personal best of 3:23 for his marathon time. He is SO fast that his coach can barely keep up with him. Alex does not take notice of other runners along the course and is a Zen runner.
Jamie is all about the marathon experience. While completing marathons with his dad alongside him, he high five’s people along the way, and shakes hands at the water stops. I know if I was a volunteer at a water stop-having a runner high five me would be an
awesome experience. Although he lacks his brothers speed, he can run for hours and hours at a time with energy to spare.
Both boys ran the 2013 Boston Marathon. Alex had already finished the race and was waiting at the Westin hotel with his Mom when the boms detonated. Jamie, however was stuck behind at Mile 22 and later taken with other runners to a nearby church. They waited for hours on end to be reunited with the other half of their family.
Jamie suffered more post traumatic stress symptoms that Alex did. He waited for so many hours amongst people who were scared, confused, and terrified. That’s never good for anyone. Jamie knew this wasn’t the same as all the other happy marathon endings that he was used to encountering. Their parents slowly eased the boys back into running races.They wanted it to be the positive experience that the twins have always known it to be.
Running has become their outlet, and they are able to thrive within the routine of it. On Sunday, the twins ran the NYC marathon for their first time. Although they aren’t able to verbally communicate with others, I’m sure this experience was such a joy for them to complete and partake in.
Running has become a way for the entire family to communicate with one another. A way for their parents to bond with their children and share the experiences together. And that…is just beautiful.
Run free, run strong!