AUSTIN, Texas – An Austin woman with Down Syndrome completed her fifth half marathon on Sunday.
- Woman with Down Syndrome completes fifth half marathon
- First person with Down Syndrome to participate in Austin Half Marathon
- Training for her next race
Kayleigh Williamson danced through the finish line to complete yet another race. A few years ago, she made history as the first person with Down Syndrome to participate in the Austin Half Marathon.
"My mom always told me, 'Don't look down and step by step, keep going,'" said Kayleigh.
She did just that. Every year her time just gets better and better. This year she completed the race in just over four hours.
"Our first one, we did in 6 hours and 22 minutes," said Sandy Williamson, Kayleigh's mom.
Sandy says the two started running together a few years ago as a way to improve their cardiovascular health. The two were inspired by Sandy's mother's condition.
"My daughter being Down Syndrome, she has a 90 percent chance of developing Alzheimer's. We know that there are some key factors that contribute to that and one is lack of cardiovascular exercise," she said.
Since then, Kayleigh has developed a love for pounding the pavement. Many have heard her story and cheer her on, inspired to follow in her footsteps.
"We have people come out on the course and tell us they start running because they see her out there, so the influence is beyond the Down Syndrome community," said Sandy.
Kayleigh might not have reached her goal of finishing the race in less than four hours this time around, but she plans on continuing to train for her next race. Kayleigh and her mother will travel for their first out-of-town race in April.