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Son with cerebral palsy in tow, father trains for marathon

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Jun. 29, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.

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RED FLEET STATE PARK — Endurance events like marathons and triathlons continue to be popular with Utahns, and for a father and son from Roosevelt competing in these events poses a unique challenge.

Danny Ross was born 3 ½ months early with an identical twin brother, who died at 6 months old. When Danny was aged 2, he was diagnosed with sever cerebral palsy.

A few years ago, Danny's aunt came for a visit. She was training for a marathon, and, not wanting her to run around Roosevelt herself, Danny's father Brian Ross joined her for a run.

"The only thing I could think about was running with Danny," Brian Ross said. "I knew I was missing something and it was obviously running with him."

He approached his wife about running triathlons and marathons with Danny in tow.

"While we were sitting there discussing it, we were discussing it in front of him and he get's all excited," Brian Ross said. "So in January 2012, we started training for triathlons."

They bought a running jogger for Danny, along with a special tomato seat and began running 5K and 10K races.

"The biggest thing that I get out of it, obviously, is the smile that he gets on his face," Brian Ross said. "The smile that he gets on his face from completing a triathlon or an endurance race, that completes everything for me."

Now, they are training for the St. George Marathon in October. It will be their first attempt at the 26.2 mile distance.

"We never use the word ‘can't,' because we do believe that everything's possible with the help of others. And that's one of the biggest things, too," Brian Ross said. "Danny's taught me to never give up on anything in life."


Geoff Liesik

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