On 17 April, Special Olympics runner Trent Hampton took part in the historic 127th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts. Hampton, a New York native, traveled to the city to compete in the world-renowned race along with nearly 30,000 other athletes over the weekend. To run a marathon, let alone the Boston Marathon, is a remarkable feat and Hampton completed it with a net finish time of 3:43:55 and a gun finish time of 3:50:08.
Hampton previously competed in the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi in 2019 where he competed in triathlon. He is set to attend the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin in June as an official and will be a phenomenal mentor and officiator for other athletes to look up to and emulate.
Along with Hampton, other Special Olympics runners and supporters ran in the 2023 Boston Marathon.
Special Olympics Massachusetts had 27 runners compete as part of their Xtra Mile Team which was created to bring awareness to Special Olympics and create a more inclusive space for athletes to compete in marathons and other running events. Each of the 27 Xtra Mile Team members had their own unique reason for running in the Boston Marathon and their individual connections to Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Michigan runner Max Hinga also competed in the 2023 Boston Marathon where he ran the full 26.2 miles in 5 hours, 20 minutes and 47 seconds. Hinga, who was born with autism, was told he would never be able to play sports, let alone compete in them when he was just a child, but did not let low expectations keep him from playing sports. Hinga participated in a variety of sports while in high school, competed on multiple Special Olympics Unified Sports teams and with the recent completion of the Boston Marathon, ran two marathons in less than a year.
Marlynn Stutzman with Special Olympics Florida ran the 2023 Boston Marathon in 4 hours and 25 minutes. Stutzman, a first-time Boston Marathoner, found her stride for running through the group of athletes she trains with in her hometown. From there, Stutzman started competing in triathlons and due to her fish-like capabilities in the pool, she received the nickname “fish,” a play on her name, Marlynn. The 23-year-old is part of Special Olympics triathlete Chris Nikic’s training group and ran the marathon sporting a shirt with “1% Better” and “321” on it which brings awareness to Down syndrome and World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March every year.