EUGENE, Ore. – It was quite a scene Sunday morning at Hayward Field. As one University of Oregon student with cerebral palsy crossed the Eugene Marathon finish line, completing a feat many thought could not be done.
Although Justin Gallegos was born with cerebral palsy he wanted to participate in the Eugene Half Marathon, with the goal of completing the 13.1 miles in less than two hours, to inspire others to strive for success no matter what their limitations are.
“Change people's perspective of limits and show people that there's truly no such thing as a disability," said Justin.
Justin started running cross country in high school, and hasn't stopped running since. He's currently a sophomore on UO’s Track and Field Club team, and is the first runner in club history with cerebral palsy.
Justin's commitment and passion for running caught the eye of Nike. Over the past several months he has been running in a prototype shoe from the company that is designed for runners with disabilities.
"It opens around the back, with a zipper, for an easy entry point for people with disabilities," said Justin’s father, Brent Gallegos.
Gallegos is Justin’s biggest fan, and is proud of his son for overcoming countless obstacles he’s encountered over the years.
"He's determined, he's always been an inspirational person that continues to work hard and defy the odds and not going to let his challenges slow him down,” said Gallegos.
After a grueling 13.1 miles, Justin crossed the finish line with an official time of two hours and three minutes. Although he didn't come in under two hours like he hoped, Justin said he is proud of what he accomplished and believes his experience is proof that anything is possible.
"We are only limited by our minds and not our bodies and that you can live limitless," Justin said.