Disabled Runner Unfazed By Her Limitations

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 30, 2010

Despite being unable to use her right arm, Martha Manning continues to run marathons.

Dallas-based runner Martha Manning, 33, was born without the use of her right arm. As a child, she couldn’t crawl and is unable to do push ups or pull ups. Her disability was caused during birth when the nerves in her upper arm were severed, resulting in permanent paralysis. The condition, known as Erb’s palsy, is a form of brachial plexus palsy.

“I hated feeling different and standing out,” Martha says. “You want more than anything to fit in.”

In high school, Martha began to take up running, joining her father on two-mile runs. Running showed her what she can do as opposed to what she can’t.

“It was the first time I felt like I overcame my disability,” she recalls. “I overcame what was holding me back. I found ways around it.”

Manning has been running marathons for over four years now and will be taking part in the Metro PCS Dallas White Rock Marathon this Sunday.

For More: Dallas News

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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