Running a half marathon race requires runners to push themselves, often in ways they never imagined. Dan Davis not only pushes himself to run the distance, but he also pushes his mother Mary Ann along with him. Dan and Mary Ann’s #WhyIMini story is one about a son’s untiring love for his mother and the possibilities of pursuing one’s dreams no matter how impossible they seem.
It all began 3 years ago when Dan asked his mother to run the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon with him. Mary Ann knew that her son had an indescribable passion for running in the Indy Mini, and she desperately wanted to be a part of the experience. However, this seemed impossible to Mary Ann whose health prevented her from walking most distances, let alone running a half marathon.
Dan did not let his mother’s health circumstances keep him from getting her to race with him. Instead, he came up with a plan to help her keep the pace. He spent countless hours in his garage modifying a double stroller to create a vehicle in which his mother could comfortably sit while he pushed her through the race. He also wanted to make sure that his mother rode in style, so he painted the vehicle in her favorite shade of pink, and he fashioned the seat with checkered flag print fabric.
When race day came, Mary Ann was full of joy and pride for what her son had done for her, but she did not expect the reactions that she and Dan received from other race participants. She was taken aback by the support of other runners and walkers as they cheered her son on with applause and words of encouragement. She smiled the whole way through the race, raising her arms, clenching her fists and shaking them in delight.
Feeling uplifted by the other runners and walkers in the Mini-Marathon, Dan ran faster in his final mile than he did in the first. When the finish was in sight, Dan stopped running unexpectedly. He walked to the front of his mother’s cart and helped her stand. With her son’s support, Mary Ann crossed the finish line and completed the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon with an impressive time of 1:46. She beamed as she rang the PR bell.
Dan and Mary Ann have already registered for the 2016 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, so make sure to show support when you see them on May 7!