Carla Simon is racing to make history, literally. She will be the first woman from Arizona to participate in the Special Olympics and qualify for the Boston Marathon – at the age of 32. Simon, who is autistic, typically ran just to stay in shape. That all changed when her mother passed away in 2013. Running soon became an outlet for her. Simon saw firsthand how an unhealthy lifestyle can negatively impact your life and your loved ones so she pushed herself
She’s qualified for the 2020 and 2021 Boston Marathons after finishing the REVEL Mt. Charleston in Las Vegas in 5 hours, 20 minutes, 54 seconds and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 5 hours, 43 minutes, and 58 seconds. According to Arizona Sports,
“Simon is one of 20 athletes in the 2020 Boston Marathon with an intellectual impairment as part of the Boston Athletic Association’s Adaptive Programs, which consist of 90 athletes who have visual, physical or intellectual impairments.”
An accomplished athlete, Simon won gold medals at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. She’s competed in a variety of races and even ran 106 miles as part of a 48-hour ultra-marathon. She knows who she runs for and has lofty aspirations.
“It’s the people that say how much I inspire them and motivate them to get them out the door. My goal someday is to run in all 50 states so I’m going to continue that journey. I will be up to 13 after Boston.”
We congratulate Simon and her tremendous success thus far and can’t wait to hear about Boston and all the other stops on her inspirational journey.
Photo Credits: Unsplash, Facebook