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How A Marathonner Overcame Adversity To Find Happiness

An accident left Hannah Gavios without the full use of her legs, but that wasn’t enough to keep her from finishing the New York City Marathon.

For Hannah Gavios, running the New York City Marathon was truly a case of mind over matter. And in this case, it was a really, really big matter. While traveling in Thailand in 2016, Gavios was attacked by a stranger. In her efforts to escape, she fell off a 150-foot cliff, severely damaging her spine.


After surgery and nearly two months recovering in a New York City hospital, Gavios decided she wanted to try and do the 2019 NYC Marathon – with the help of her crutches.

“I always knew I was a strong person,” Gavios told CNN.”But I didn’t know I was that strong. I also didn’t realize how much of a fighter I was.”

Gavios, who lives in Queens, finished the marathon in under 12 hours, which is truly an amazing accomplishment given all she endured.

“I didn’t expect this many people,” she told the New York Post. “It just shows my city has my back. It means so much that everyone stayed.”

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Gavios, who teaches in the New York City school system, is a true role model and a ray of positivity.

“No matter how much you’ve lost in your life, there’s always gains,” Gavios told The Great Big Story.

Gavios not only runs marathons but also teaches yoga.

“I love facing challenges. The more challenges I face, the stronger I become.”

Photo Credit: Facebook