Saturday, April 18, 2009

Autistic man lives to run - Andrew Bryant running the Boston Marathon

Autistic man lives to run


SEATTLE – Andy Bryant is a runner, a long-distance runner good enough to finish in the top 6 percent of the field in the Boston Marathon two years ago.

The Seattle man, 26 years old, is also autistic.

As a Special Olympics runner he never lost a race and he was the first Washington Special Olympian ever to qualify to run in Boston, the big-daddy of American road races.

Today the student body at his high school alma mater, Ingraham in North Seattle, gave him a huge, rowdy sendoff in the auditorium.

The entire student body roared and clapped and chanted his name. The mayor sent along a proclamation declaring this "Andy Bryant Day."

Good energy – just what he'll need for the 26.2 miles this Monday when he takes on the Boston Marathon and Heartbreak Hill again.

Andy says the cheering students made him feel good.

"I feel great, I feel happy and confident," he said.

It will be his sixth Marathon and he is hoping to break 3 hours for a personal best.

Ask any recreational runner and they will tell you that is very, very good. Andy says he doesn't feel pain and will never stop running. He likes it too much, likes it mostly for the camaraderie of training with a team, and the feeling of being part of a big event with lots of people.

His race strategy? Pretty simple: "I just go," says Andy Bryant.

Watch the video

Andrew's bib number, if you want to track his progress, is 3776

Autistic marathon runner races past expectations - April 17, 2007

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