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Local Man Hoping to Become First Little Person to Finish NYC Marathon

John Young, of Salem, will compete in the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

When John Young, of Salem, lines up for the start of the New York City Marathon Sunday morning, he'll be running for a lot more than just a new personal best.

Young, who teaches math at Pingree School in South Hamilton, is hoping to become the first little person to complete the grueling 26.2-mile race.

Young hasn't let the fact that he was born with a congenital condition called achondroplasia keep him from being far more active than your average Witch City resident.

And in spite of the destruction left by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week, Young will travel to New York City with his wife, Sue, and 10-year-old son, Owen, Friday in advance of Sunday's race.

Though his small stature and slow pace may make it a little harder for him to find a running partner to train with, but that hasn't kept Young off of the local racing circuit. He began competing in triathlons three years ago and recently wrapped up his fourth racing season.

As he was packing for the trip to New York Thursday night, Young said his 10-month mission to complete the marathon wasn't about being the first little person to cross the finish line - it was about sending a message to everyone out there who has been told they couldn't do something.

"I think all of us little people, we hear a lot of 'you can't do that' or 'you're too small,'" Young said. "Part of me will feel good about being the first little person to do it, but what will be even more satisfying is to have me not be the last one to do it."

In addition to being a member of the Achilles International racing team, Young is also represented by Para-promotions based out of Ottawa, Ontario.

Anyone interested in tracking Young's progress Sunday can do so on www.nyrr.org. His bib number will be 18955.

Billie McGregor November 02, 2012 at 11:27 PM
So sorry to hear the marathon has been cancelled, John. Best of luck in your next race though! Keep up the good work! Let's keep those in the states most affected by the storm in our thoughts and prayers too!
John Young November 03, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Upset they took so long to cancel waiting for most of the runners to travel here. There will hopefully be many more races in my future. Thanks so much to all who helped me get here.
Bill November 03, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Thanks to that arrogant buffoon, Bloomberg, it was not canceled until thousand of runners made their way to NY at great expense. Now they are there taking up hotel rooms that storm victims need.
Letty C November 05, 2012 at 12:17 AM
I certainly hope you are reimbursed. If not, c'Mon Salem. Let's support John. You certainly inspire me! I don't personally know John, but have seen him running.
John Young November 07, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Update for anyone interested. No refund expected as that is their policy. But better than that, I will be racing in the Plymouth, MA Marathon on November 18th.

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