Justin Gallegos finished his magical run in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 49 seconds at the Eugene Half Marathon on April 29th. It was the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance and dedication. Justin has cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t prevented him from trying to become a better runner each day. His heart has shown to be bigger than any deficiencies his body might have as fans of his story have known for a long time.
Justin started his running career as a freshman at Hart high school in Santa Clara, California. At first there was a lot of falling on the track, but Justin was undeterred by those setbacks. He rarely missed practices over those four years and that determination began to rub off on his teammates.
“The effort he put into training just gave everyone a sense of, ‘I’ve got nothing to complain about,’” his high school coach Larry David said.
Justin is now on the Oregon track club team where he continues to go out and grind each and every day, pushing his body to the limits.
Nike took special interest in Justin’s story and created a shoe called the Breaking2. This shoe was made to help disabled people run while limiting their pain. The Breaking2 has a zipper around the heel, making it wider and creating an easier point for the foot to go in. While the goal for Gallegos was to run the half marathon under two hours, no one can deny that the race was a success. This was Justin’s longest race yet, and he became one of the first ever disabled people to complete a half marathon unassisted.
“I want to show people that you should live your life without limits,” Justin told Runner’s World. “Don’t let people who question you get in your way.”
Justin continues to set higher goals for himself. There is no telling what this special young man can accomplish on and off the track field. Justin realizes that when he races the impact goes far beyond that of a regular athlete.