Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hardcopy Reaction - Alex finally gets his hands on an iRun Magazine

Thanks to my sister who lives in a city with a Running Room and was good enough to drop in and
grab some copies of the January iRun magazine and send them to us,
Alex was finally able to see himself recognized as an iRun Award winner in print today.

As I expected, his reaction was "bigger" seeing himself in a magazine than it had been to seeing it on a webpage. (After all, his story began being told on web pages, by me, 14 years ago). It was even bigger than his reaction to seeing it covered on CBC's Compass News (but again, it's not the first time he's been on Compass)

First I had to interrupt his Olympic Relay Run (Wii) ..... He quickly flipped through the magazine to find himself and read the article aloud to me.... (if you want to read along, I've repeated the text below)

iRun for Autism Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion.

At the age of 20, PEI native Alex Bain's unwavering dedication to running already sets him apart from most of his peers. Bain races almost every weekend. He has broken the 20-minute mark in the 5k and is very close to breaking 40 minutes in the 10k. He just completed his first full marathon in an impressive time of 3:29:29.

But his age isn't the only thing that’s special about Bain; he was diagnosed as autistic at the age of three. Today, a huge part of Alex’s motivation each time he laces up his shoes is to promote awareness about autism – and the fact that he, and many others like him, wish for acceptance, not a cure. “Autism makes me different from my friends,” says Bain. “That’s OK.” As his trademark yellow race t-shirt spells out, Bain is “Running For Autism, Not Against It.”

In July 2006, Alex (accompanied by his mother, Janet Norman-Bain, who played both support crew and videographer) embarked on a run from tip-to-tip of PEI to raise money for autism awareness and risk and safety management. But even this challenge – he averaged between 20-25k per day – didn’t quite prepare him for what the last stretch of his marathon would feel like: Bain admits he hit the wall with 10k to go, “the first time I’ve done three hours of running.” Still, he exceeded his projected time goal by more than five minutes.

Bain is no stranger to awards; he has also been crowned PEI RoadRunners Rookie of the Year, Junior RoadRunner of the Year and Inspirational Runner of the Year.

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