50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 Weeks

By KBJR News 1

June 26, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- For one trio of wheelchair racers, Grandma's Marathon weekend was number 24 on a list of 50 --- 50 marathons, raced in each of the 50 states, all completed in 50 weeks.

"We always ride each other,' Grant Berthiaume of Tucson, Ariz. said. "Usually we'll wait for each other at the finish line, and get a group photo of us all three."

In six months, Berthiaume and his two racing partners plan to have 50 group photos.

"It's a goal for normal people to try and do one marathon in their lifetime," Aaron Roux of Tucson, Ariz. said. "To do 50 marathons, and then have a disability, it's quite the challenge."

"When you set high goals, it's easy to do it," Paul Erway of Shelbyville, Ky. "No wheelchairs have ever done this before, and right now it seems so easy. We're 24 in, and they're just flying by."

It's the flying to and from the races, though, that's the biggest challenge for Roux, Erway, and Berthiaume

"It's tough to travel all day and then go home and only get a couple of days to do laundry and catch up with all of the bills and training," Roux said. "Then we get ready for the next one."

Roux was just 21 years old when broke his neck in a car accident leaving him paralyzed with no feeling in any of his limbs.

"Wheelchair sports taught me how to start my life all over again," Roux said. "I had to learn how to tie my shoe all over again at the age of 21."

Now, the guys are using the marathon challenge as their opportunity to teach others.

"We're just trying to show a point with the racing that you can do something great," Erway said. "I do have a job, and I do race something crazy like this on the weekends. You can do that."

Crazy or not, Erway doesn't have any second thoughts.

"There's so much to this journey," Erway said. "I'm actually going to hate to see it end."

Posted by Zach Schneider
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