Runners in marathon

Runners in marathon

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Everyone's got a different reason why they wanted to tackle this year's Austin Marathon.

But perhaps the most touching stories are the runners who are in the race for those who can't run for themselves.

Like Austin Travis County EMS paramedic, Steven Ward.

"I was running today to pay tribute to our fallen captain, fellow co worker and my friend, Randy Trinkle who was killed in a traffic accident on December 1st of last year. I was hoping by today people got a better understanding of the kind of person that is no longer here protecting the citizens of Austin and I think that goal was accomplished. "

Ward not only ran for his beloved friend, he did it wearing his paramedic gear, which weighed about 30 pounds.

"It was way harder than I thought it would be. This is what it looks like when somebody bites off more than they can chew but I had a lot of support from my fellow co workers and without them, I would have finished but it would have taken me a lot longer though."

Inspiration comes in smaller packages too, like nine-year-old, Ellie Freeman.

She suffered a stroke when she was just two-years-old.

Family friend, Richard Hartley, says Ellie has gotten him through some tough training.

"I ran some marathons on the West Coast in Seattle and when I was training , I was having a hard time getting through some mountain courses and I kept thinking about Ellie could get through just about everything and if this young lady could get through what's she's gotten through smiling , I can go one more mile."

This is Ellie's first marathon.

"We had people yelling for us the whole time. She was singing all down South Congress and smiling the whole way, didn't complain once, she's a trooper. Aren't you Ellie, you're the best. Good job, honey, that smile makes it all worth it."

The Austin Marathon fell on Ellie's big brother... Matt's... 12th birthday.

He ran the 5k.

Next year's Austin Marathon is set for February 16th.

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