For those of you looking for a little motivation to stop making excuses and crawl out of bed to get your run in try this on for size. We all know running can be difficult. We all know being a parent can be difficult. We know running a marathon much less winning one is very difficult. Now trying doing all those together. Try running a marathon while pushing you 6 year old daughter in a stroller and not only finishing the marathon (26.2 miles) but winning it!!! Now many of you are amazed already so lets add something on top of that. In 2013 Iram Leon did this all while having terminal brain cancer.
Iram was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010 just after turning 30 years old. The tumor that is logged in his brain is inoperable and had been told by doctors he will more likely not see his 40th birthday. He made a choice back in those days that he wanted 2 things while he still could. One was spend more time with his daughter. The other to keep running. Iram found a creative way to do the 2 most important things in the world to him. He began running with his daughter Kiana while pushing her in a stroller. Keep in mind when they started she was 4. So 40 or so lbs not so bad. As she got older it became more difficult and in 2013 they ran the Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas and won it in a time of 3:07:35. Kiana was now 6 years old which makes the feat even that more incredible.
Kiana now runs on her own as well. Has even won a few medals of her own to go with the ones she has collected with her Dad. Iram is still running strong and even achieved some PRs along the way. He has suffer a number of seizures, must take constant medication and has substantial memory loss but none of it has stopped him from spending time with Kiana and doing what they now love together... Running! Kiana knows her dad is sick and has learned to cope with the situation. Iram says that he wants her to have many memories of their time together. While some are unpleasant like his seizures the great times they spend running more than makes up for those. Kiana even would joke with her dad as he pushed here in training runs saying come on Dad keep up I'm still ahead of you! At every medal ceremony Iram always brings Kiana up with him and she gets the medal on her neck. He remind the audience that technically Kiana crossed the line first so she deserves the medal. Kiana has even drawn some pictures of running the marathon with her Dad!
As a result of some of the coverage the duo have received the Sports Society of American Health has started a college fund in Kiana's name with a goal of $30,000. They have been featured in the local papers, Outside Magazine website and even in the sports section of the Wall Street Journal. When I first heard of this story I could not stop and think how fortunate I am to have my health and to have so many more years with my kids. Sometimes we take these things for granted. So next time you have to get up and run remember this story. Next time when you have the chance to do anything with your kids remember this story. And if you are lucky enough to do both together go out and enjoy the sport of running with your kids! These are memories that you nor you kids will ever forget! Check out the video below from local news coverage. Iram and Kiana we hope you keep running together forever!
Coach Rojas has 11 combined years of coaching experience at various levels including coaching a high school D1 State finalist team and 3 years in a row of a top 10 state ranking. He is passionate of the sport of running and loves to see new runners take up the sport! He wants to share a lifetime of running experience to all