It took her fourteen hours, but she did it.
Nearly every large-city marathon has a story of someone overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles to finish the race, but this story out of Hawaii in especially poignant. Eleven-year-old Wakana Ueda of Japan is blind, and last Sunday she completed the 26.2-mile race by following the sounds of cheering and her own mother’s chanting.
Fourteen hours, three minutes, and two seconds after she started the race, Ueda came across the finish line with tears in her eyes. Her support team, made up of her extended family, lined the route to the finish with flower petals.
But Ueda’s journey was hardly easy. ”Before the halfway mark her leg was cramping up, and she was thinking about quitting many times,” Ueda’s mother explained through a translator. ”But because the team supported her, she was able to finish.”
Approximately 19,000 runners took part in Hawaii’s largest marathon, the 39th edition this year, and America’s fifth-largest marathon.
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