Runner With Down Syndrome Makes History In New York

Jimmy Jenson finished the race in just over 8 hours.

For one runner, finishing Sunday’s New York City Marathon was an historic feat.

Jimmy Jenson, 48, stopped the clock at the end of the famous 26.2-mile, five-borough tour of the Big Apple in just over 8 hours. But he still finished first.

And by that, we mean Jenson became the first person with Down syndrome to ever finish the race.

Jenson ran with his friend Jennifer Davis, who he met 12 years ago through Best Buddies, a program that connects people with disabilities with people who do not. Davis works at the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation and coordinates day programming for people with disabilities.

The pair began running together a decade ago — despite never having run before — and quickly moved from 5Ks to longer races. They ran the Los Angeles Marathon earlier this year before tackling New York.

Jenson has lost 69 pounds since picking up the sport, and Davis said his personality has blossomed because of his active lifestyle.

“He would sit in the corner, kind of cross-legged,” Davis told TODAY. “He’s become so much more outgoing.”

“I was able to help Jimmy become more active, get in the community, lose weight, and tie his shoes,” Davis said in a press release. “But he taught me about enjoying life, dancing and singing like no one is watching, and that a hug and a hot cocoa can solve almost anything.”

For More: TODAY

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