GALWAY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In less than a month, one Saratoga County man and his son will be running across the country for a good cause.
Shaun Evans and his running partner, Shamus, will be spreading the gift of mobility and inclusion for other families facing similar challenges.
Shamus, 9, was born with cerebral palsy. The disorder limits his ability to move, walk and play like other kids. But it hasn’t stopped him and his father from having an illustrious racing career and embarking on a journey they’ll remember forever.
Evans began taking his son out on runs with him when Shamus was just a baby. At the time, Evans was training with the hopes of making the U.S. Olympic Marathon team. But now, it’s grown into so much more.
“Over the years, it’s been a great bonding experience for us,” he said.
Two years ago, the dynamic duo decided they wanted to start competing. With the help of Ainsley’s Angels, a group dedicated to ensuring everyone can experience events, they received the bike they needed to race.
After beginning with a smaller race in Saratoga, the two picked a six-hour, ultra marathon as their next challenge.
“I had never run that far alone let along pushing Shamus,” Evans said.
But they won and ran over 45 miles in the process.
“And to me that was a pinnacle of a running career,” Evans said. “How do you top something like that?”
But Shamus had other plans.
“We got in the car and started to drive home, and he goes, ‘Dad, how far could we make it if we ran that far every day for summer vacation?’” Evans recalled.
After calculating how long it would be, they realized it would go from coast to coast. After months of thinking and a selfless idea from Shamus, Evans plotted out a route from Seattle to New York City.
“[Shamus] said, ‘When we run across the country, can we donate chairs to other kids like me, so that they can feel what it’s like to run; to roll with the win,’ and that’s what sold me,” Evans said.
So on July 4, Evans and Shamus will begin their odyssey. Evans’ wife, Nichole, and their youngest son, Simon, will ride alongside in an RV filled with running chariots for 15 different families.
“To have those kids to look forward to at each stop; to provide that gift of mobility is kind of how we are phrasing it and promoting inclusion is what the mission is really about,” Evans said.
When the father-son duo arrive in New York, the New York Mets will be waiting for them. The pair will be honored at Citi Field that night.
To learn more about Evans and Shamus and to follow their run across the country, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @Power2Push.
To donate, head to their fundraising website, here.