"For this year’s Boston Marathon, I had the opportunity to guide Paralympian Chaz Davis. Chaz is really fast and a great guy. He was aiming for a PR of 2:30 before we had to deal with the crazy conditions.
We started with the gun, but didn't cross the starting line for almost a minute. I started yelling ‘blind runner' and people finally helped clear a path and cheered us on. Around 10km we were finally able to get on pace. We battled the headwinds like everyone else, but we couldn't tuck in because I wanted to keep Chaz away from obstacles. I put him on my side, charged through the puddles and gently nudged people so we could make our way around. I was supposed to trade outpacing duties at 20km with Chaz's roommate, but somehow we missed him in the madness.
Chaz has neuropathy and eventually lost feeling in his legs from the cold. He fell a few times, but we kept pushing. Around mile 23, we heard someone yelling. I thought it was just cheering, but it was Chaz's roommate who had caught up with us. I can't tell you how happy I was to see him.
My teeth were chattering uncontrollably and my vision was deteriorating, but I didn't want to leave Chaz so close to the finish. His roommate and I held out our arms out with Chaz in between us. I can't tell you how impressive it was to see Chaz dealing with the pain — not just the falling and the cramps, but with losing the rest of his vision. Most people would have stopped but he didn't. He dug deeper.
The next two miles were slow but steady and when we turned on Boylston, we knew he would make it. What an incredible adventure."
- HOKA Athlete Mike Wardian from Arlington, VA #humansofHOKA