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Special Olympics Athletes Ready to Run the 2019 Boston Marathon

For the first time, five Special Olympics athletes from five states around the U.S. have qualified to run in the annual Boston Marathon.
Man running in blue Adidas running shorts and tank top; his bib reads 430.
Julian Borst is running in the Boston Marathon for the first time.
Athlete in a red tank top that reads, Indiana showing off his gold medal.
A few weeks ago, Andrew Peterson competed at the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi; this month, he’s running the Boston Marathon.

The list includes four first-timers: John Almeda of California; Julian Borst of Michigan (pictured above); Andrew Peterson of Indiana (pictured right); and Ernie Roundtree of Pennsylvania. Also in the lineup is Andy Bryant of Washington state, who's running the Boston Marathon for a record 10th time!! The Boston event—the oldest marathon in the U.S.—is set for Monday, April 15th.

Running the course is difficult, but so is the process of qualifying to get a spot. All athletes must submit their best times, based on age and gender; and even then, there's no guarantee they will get in.

These five athletes are continuing a proud tradition of Special Olympics elite runners competing in this high-profile event.

Loretta Claiborne of York, Pa., running on a track in blue shorts and tank top; her bib reads 53.
Loretta Claiborne of York, Pa., was the first Special Olympics athlete to run the Boston Marathon.

Loretta Claiborne is believed to be the first Special Olympics athlete to run the Boston Marathon (in 1981). She's also among the few Special Olympics athletes who've run the Boston Marathon multiple times. That list includes Karen Dickerson of Virginia; Greg Schwartz of Massachusetts; and, of course, Andy Bryant, who’s aiming for a new personal best this year.

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