‘Everybody is cheering him on’: Duo ready to rock and roll through Myrtle Beach Marathon
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Some people are lacing up their sneakers for the Myrtle Beach Marathon while others are polishing off their wheels for Saturday’s big event.
That includes 18-year-old Ryan Howell, who will mark nearly 30 races on Saturday, but it will be his first full marathon.
Howell had a stroke before he was born causing cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment, epilepsy and leaving him to use a wheelchair.
However, eight years ago, his mom Anita got him involved in Ainsley’s Angels.
Ainsley’s Angles gives those with disabilities opportunities to run races in what they call freedom chairs. The organization’s goal is building awareness for the exceptional needs community through inclusion like endurance events.
Joe Czapla is a runner and ambassador in training for Ainsley’s Angles Coastal Carolina chapter. The baton was passed down to him after longtime ambassador Shelly Warner passed away.
“Shelly turned to me and said Joe I’m not feeling well. I haven’t told anybody yet, but my time on earth is limited can you take over?” said Czapla.
Czapla is pushing Ryan through the full marathon on Saturday and said this year running is not about him at all.
“It’s all about their experience. So, the days of my personal records are over. My personal record now is giving my rider a better experience than the last time. So, if I get him to laugh and cheer and be happier, then my job’s been done, said Czapla.
Anita said there’s nothing better than seeing her son on race days.
“The joy that is on his face. Everybody is cheering him on. They say his name over the microphone and the music is playing. He’s loving the music and shaking and rocking in his chair because he’s just so excited about the day he just had,” said Anita.
If you still want to run in the Myrtle Beach Marathon you have until 7 p.m. Friday to sign up.
You can register and find more information about the Myrtle Beach Marathon by clicking here.
Ryan and Joe will take off at 6:55 a.m. on Saturday for the marathon followed by the other runners at 7 a.m.
Copyright 2023 WMBF. All rights reserved.