Shawn and David Hesse are brothers who finished the Queen City Marathon’s full 42.2-kilometre race in just over three hours, but their race time wasn’t the focus.
Getting to the finish line in Regina with each other is an accomplishment in itself.
“My brother is mentally and physically disabled, and this is something that I can actually get him out and do,” said Shawn.
“I get a kick out of these things anyway, but I get an extra little bit with him because people are cheering his name. He gets such a big smile and he’s waving at everybody.”
Shawn is a regular marathon runner, but since taking steps to equip his brother to join in, finishing races have held more meaning.
“He’s been in a wheelchair all his life and he sees people moving around, so we thought we would try getting this chair last year. (We wanted to) see if he would enjoy running in a race with me, and lo and behold — this is our second marathon now.”
The key in comfortable racing for the duo is David’s chair, which was made by a designer in Boston who made the chairs to eliminate the barrier for those wanting to take part in marathons.
“They’ve engineered this thing so amazingly, and he can sit in this (during races),” explained Shawn. “It’s designed for people who really can’t bend their legs very well. It’s (crafted) ergonomically, he can sit in during a race and relax and I can’t say nothing but nice things about these Hoyt chairs that we can race in.”
On top of the two marathons, they’ve also taken on 5-kilometre races and plan to cross more finish lines together.
“It’s a special moment that I can share with him,” said Shawn.
David echoed the sentiment, sharing that crossing the finish line with his brother feels “good.”