Will Reeve, son of the late Superman star Christopher Reeve, will compete in the TCS New York City marathon in honour of his late parents.
Will, an ESPN correspondent, is to take part in the New York Marathon on Nov. 6 and aims to raise $35, 000 for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the charity set up by his parents, which provides support for those with spinal-cord injuries and raises funds for medical research.
“I always promised my family, my friends and the folks at the foundation, ‘I’ll do it next year,'” Will told People. “Because I’m not a runner — and that hasn’t really changed — I didn’t think I could do it. Then I realized there is no place for excuses around here, not with the work we’re trying to do at the Reeve Foundation. My parents’ legacy is not one of excuse-making — so let’s just do it. Before I could second-guess myself, I signed up and hit the road.”
Will is part of Team Reeve, a group of about 50 runners who have a goal of raising $500,000 collectively for the foundation.
“On my first day, I ran four miles just to see what I could do,” the ESPN sports reporter says about beginning training in May. “I had never run that far before — I knew I would be motivated by the Reeve Foundation to raise money and spread awareness for spinal cord injury research and to care for those with paralysis. I’m motivated by those people, the stories I’ve been told, my parents and the people donating. The motivation will not be a problem.”
Will’s father Christopher became a disabled-rights activist after he was paralyzed in a horseback-riding accident in 1995. Christopher suffered heart failure and died in 2004 at 52 years old, and just 17 months later, his mother Dana passed away from lung cancer at 44 years old.
“Everything I do, I try to honour my parents’ legacy,” Will told The New York Post. “I want to keep their names alive.”
He recently completed a 20-mile run in preparation. “It was not easy run,” he says. “None of them really are, but it’s something I’ve really come to care about and that’s what keeps me going. On these longer runs, I’m reminding myself of why I’m doing it, and that may sound a bit over-the-top or cheesy. Reminding myself that there are people counting on me, that’s what’s gotten me through the long slogs of training.”
He also reveals that when training he had an encounter with a tiny dog, which bit into his ankle while he was running across a private driveway in Maine.
“A Shih Tzu nipped at my heels and drew blood,” says the 24-year-old reporter. “But I carried on running because it was just a flesh wound. It turned out the dog had all its shots, so now I’ve got a battle scar I wear with pride!”
“[My parents are] an inspiration, a model of love and commitment and determination,” said Reeve. “And they tried to instill those values in me and I try to uphold their values every day. I see them as that but I also see them as just Mom and Dad. Their legacy informs everything that I do because I want to make them proud and I also want to honour our family name and carry the Reeve name and legacy into the future.”Follow @KatieScottNews
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