USA Today profiled Alex Schneider, a 24-year-old marathon runner with autism. Alex and his twin brother Jamie have been running since they were teenagers and have completed the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon among other races.
Alex was recently in the top ten of the Runner’s World magazine cover contest. He received nearly 18,000 votes. Alex is nonverbal so his mother wrote his profile for the contest.
She wrote, “Running is the sole place that Alex can go where his autism is not front and center. He has to overcome unimaginable obstacles and challenges to do the most favorite thing in his life. He loves running in and of itself. He is unaware of how gifted he is. Running levels the playing field for him, and he can compete with "typical" athletes and not be seen as being autistic or disadvantaged in any way, He has achieved the inconceivable for someone so impaired.”
Autism Speaks assistant director of Public Health Research & Scientific Review Michael Rosenoff told USA Today that the individual sport and repetive motion makes running a sport that suits individuals with autism.
“But really it’s his passion and commitment that gives him a competitive advantage,” Rosanoff told USA Today.
Alex and Jamie will be running in the 2nd Annual 4 Miles of Hope Race in Central Park on September 6. Event proceeds from this race will support Autism Speaks’ work, both locally and nationally, to increase awareness about autism, fund innovative autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
For more information or to register, visit our website at events.autismspeaks.org/4MilesofHope.