Shaun Evans, a father and ultra-marathon runner from upstate New York, is set to run across the country this summer, covering over 3,000 miles with the help of his son Shamus, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Shamus Evans is 9-years-old and was born with the condition, which limits the use of his legs. His primary method of mobility is a wheelchair, yet Shamus has joined his father on training runs ever since he was old enough to fit in a jogging stroller. In 2013, Shamus outgrew the stroller, and the Evans family was aided by the group Ainsley’s Angels of America, which helped them obtain a running chariot that allows Shamus to participate in races with his dad.
— Evans Family (@Power2Push) October 2, 2014
In August of that year, the duo competed in a six-hour-long ultra marathon, as detailed on the Power To Push Crowdrise page. With Shaun providing the power behind the run and Shamus the inspiration, they covered 45 miles, claiming first place. Such a feat would be a crowning achievement for most runners, yet it was a seemingly simple question from Shamus that gave rise to the next step of the family’s journey.
“He goes dad how far could we make it if we ran that far every day for summer vacation?” Shaun recalled. “My wife and I helped him with the calculations and said we could run over 3,000 miles if we did that and you could see a lightbulb go off in his head. He goes we gotta do that. So that became his mission.”
At first, Shaun and his wife, Nichole, thought that Shamus would forget about the run, but for the next three months, he inquired about it every night. As WNYT reports, an unusual plan was slowly forming that would see the Evans family embark on a journey across the country.
— the real coach immel (@thecoachimmel) September 20, 2014
Shamus’ determination has now manifested in Power To Push, which is set to kick off on July 4. Shamus and Shaun will together run across the country, visiting 15 states and covering a distance of 3,205 miles in 60 days. Along the route, which begins in Seattle and finishes in New York City, they plan to donate running chariots to kids like Shamus, as the Times Union reports, a goal for which they have raised over $65,000.
In addition to crowd funding, Shamus and his brother Simon opened a licensed lemonade stand (with the help of their parents) and have raised several thousand dollars to help support the cross-country run. Earlier this year, another lemonade stand courted controversy in Texas, as the Inquisitr previously reported, but the Evans brothers have been successful in helping to fund the effort.
— Evans Family (@Power2Push) August 20, 2014
Shaun and Shamus’ run is meant to promote active lifestyles and the inclusion of children with disabilities. It begins on a fitting date, as the cross-country trip will start with a declaration of independence from Shamus himself.
“He’s going to start by walking out of the ocean with his walker,” Shaun said. “I’ll transfer him into his running chair and then we’ll run 3,205 miles across the USA and then he’s going to walk the last steps into Pelham Bay in the Bronx, New York and compete the mission.”
Shaun and Shamus Evans’ run across the country can be followed at the Ainsley’s Angels website or Shaun’s blog.
[Photo via Twitter/ AdaptiveStar]