Alex and Jamie Schneider, both 23, are severely autistic and non-verbal. They ran the 26.2 miles New York City Marathon on November 3.
A total 48,000 runners took part in the NYC Marathon. This was the first NYC Marathon for Jamie and Alex. So far they have participated in around 130 races ranging from 5k runs to Marathons.
Autism Daily Newscast had the pleasure of communicating with Robyn Schneider, their mother. She told us that her boys were natural runners from the start and how they gained a lot of enjoyment from running from a very early age.
She told us that Alex and Jamie started running with the Rolling Thunder Running Club
“We first learned about the Rolling Thunder Running Club which is a club for athletes with disabilities when the boys were in their teens. They provide volunteer runners to train and run with the athletes.”
When Jamie and Alex participate in any running event they must run with the assistance of a guide. Robyn told us that this role carries a huge responsibility. The guide must:
“Pace them appropriately, guide them on the course, hydrate them when needed and check for any potential injuries.”
Robyn tells of the NYC Marathon:
“For the NYC Marathon, they ran with the Achilles International, which is an international organization whose mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self-esteem and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life.”
“We coordinate everything from A to Z to enable them to run in marathons and all races. The boys train at least 3 times a week with a coach (for Alex) and they work out on the treadmill as well on off days.”
Robyn told us that Alex in particular is especially gifted.
“He ran the NYC Marathon in 3 hours, 14 minutes and 36 seconds, setting a new personal record.”
Jamie and Alex ran the NYC Marathon to raise money for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.
More can be read about Robyn, Jamie and Alex on their website www.autismrunners.com