Teen runs for autism awareness

 runningIndianapolis, IN – 17-year-old North Carolina resident Alana Hadley plans to run in the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (IMM) on Nov.1 to raise awareness for autism. The inspiration to run came from her parents who are avid runners, and her 10-year-old sister, Rose, who is on the autism spectrum.

In addition to running for autism, Hadley also plans to run the course in 2:37:00 or less. If completed in that time she’ll have met the Olympic Trials ‘A’ standard and also break the IMM record of 2:39:00 that was set by four-time Olympian Colleen De Reuck. This feat, that could give new meaning to the Monumental race, is something Hadley has been training for quite a while. Hadley holds the record in the U.S. Half Marathon for the 14-15-year-old age group. She also finished fourth with a time of 2:43:00 in her first try at the IMM. She is the youngest Olympic Trials qualifier in 30 years to reach the ‘B’ Standard. To get funded to compete in the Olympics one needs to meet the ‘A’ standard.

Hadley isn’t the only one in the family who finds running fun. She met with Indiana news outlet Nuvo and commented that running helps her sister in the mornings:

“My mom and dad or I run with my sister every morning. It helps her get ready for school because she has so much extra energy and running helps her get calm before school.”

If Hadley beats the course record and meets the ‘A’ standard she’ll donate 25% of her bonus winnings to the Autism Society of Indiana that the IMM will match. But she won’t stop raising autism awareness there. Not only had she completed a crowdfunding t-shirt campaign through Ink The Cause, she sees autism awareness as part of her everyday life because of her sister.

“Right now it’s more about getting it out there to people’s attention,” Hadley told Nuvo, “Every year it seems they increase the number of how many people and how many kids are diagnosed.”

Hopefully she’ll reach her goals.

The original article by Amber Stearns can be read on Nuvo here

Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingsead