Rec and Roll
- Jason Vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Features
11-year-old girl finishes marathon - with a push
Several thousand runners ran and finished the Portland Marathon, but none could have been happier than 11-year-old Sarah Law of Salem.
Law took part in the marathon, despite being afflicted with a neuro-muscular disorder called arthrogryposis, which limits her mobility - she has to use a wheelchair - because of joint contracture and low muscle tone. To allow Sarah to enjoy the marathon experience, her uncle, Gary Schwartz, and physical therapist, Trent Tompkins, pushed her in a stroller the entire 26.2 miles Sunday, Oct. 4.
'It was really fun, I want to do it again,' Sarah said. 'It was fun, all the people cheering me.
'We would go downhill and uphill and around curves, and we could see all the people ahead of us. Amazing how many people ran.'
The team finished the marathon in five hours and five minutes (with a bathroom break). Sarah rode in a large, decorated stroller, with her name and the logo of the group, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita Support Inc., on it.
Sarah's mother, Elaine Law, said: 'It was my brother's 14th marathon and Trent's 12th. Pushing a stroller made it a totally different experience for them. Doing it for Sarah, it was a wonderful way for her to become mobile, because she couldn't do it by herself.'
The Law family also hoped Sarah's participation in the marathon would help raise awareness for her rare disease.
AIDS event is Oct. 11
The 23rd AIDS Walk Portland takes place at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, starting in Pioneer Courthouse Square. It's put on by the Cascade AIDS Project (www.cascadeaids.org).
About 100 openly HIV-positive people will wear red T-shirts emblazoned with the words 'Screw Stigma!' and they'll be the first team to step out from Pioneer Courthouse Square for the five-kilometer walk. There will also be a tent at the square for HIV-positive people to gather.
Harvest Century ride
Billed as the last organized Oregon cycling event of the season, the Seventh Annual Harvest Century, set for Sunday, Oct. 11, starts and ends at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.
Riders can choose from rides of 100, 75 o 45 miles, or a three-mile family route. Riding starts at 7 a.m. Event-day registration fees are $55 for the longer rides; the family ride is free. See www.harvestcentury.org for more details.