On 5 November, the 53rd operating of the New York Metropolis Marathon commenced when greater than 50,000 individuals raced from Staten Island in the direction of the end line in Central Park, 26.2 miles away. Among the many racers was Particular Olympics Texas runner Kayleigh Williamson who made historical past as one of many first ladies with Down syndrome to finish the NYC Marathon (10:09:11).
“I prefer to run as a result of it makes me really feel pleased.” She additionally shared that she was taking in each second of her most up-to-date NYC Marathon, “I’m a diva. The entire race I used to be all the time fixing my hair. I did a victory dance on the end line.”
Kayleigh Williamson (Folks Journal)
Kayleigh previously made historical past in 2017 when she grew to become the primary individual with Down syndrome to finish the Austin Marathon. Since then, she has competed in additional than 20 native and nationwide half and full marathons together with the Ascension Seton Half Marathon and the 2023 Boston Marathon.
In Boston, she battled by way of the weather together with freezing temperatures and rain on the morning of the marathon and though she didn’t end the race, Kayleigh didn’t let that cease her from pursuing her subsequent main marathon the place she proved she was greater than able to operating all 26.2 miles of the NYC Marathon.
One among her pals and fellow marathoner is Particular Olympics triathlete Chris Nikic who additionally ran within the 2023 Boston Marathon. The 2 Particular Olympics racers represented Adidas’ Runner 321 program which has the purpose to, “guarantee neurodivergent individuals’s illustration in mainstream sport.” With the continued motion by Adidas alongside representatives like Kayleigh and Chris, marathons have gotten more and more extra inclusive for these with mental and developmental disabilities.
The World Marathon Majors embrace each the NYC Marathon and the Boston Marathon which suggests Kayleigh is 33% of the way in which to competing in all six Marathon Majors.
Kayleigh is from Texas the place she frequently competes in native and state-wide Particular Olympics swimming competitions. On prime of the continual coaching for marathons and swim meets, Kayleigh does energy coaching and different bodily actions which assist her keep in form and mentally put together for her time within the pool and on the racecourse.