Israel Antonio, a visually impaired athlete from Chicago who has twice run the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, stopped by the Houston Marathon Committee’s office last week for a quick chat. He was in town to compete in the C Different Triathlon, where he finished first in his division in 1:17:52.
10 Things you need to know about Israel
- At 35 years old, born and raised in Chicago, Israel is a screen and play writer.
- Israel lost his eyesight at 14.
- He remembers his parents always taking him to the park to run laps as a child. After he lost his sight, he wasn’t into sports. He was later encouraged by Matt Miller, the Executive Director of C Different, to compete, something he began just one year ago.
- Israel is inspired by Keri Schindler (Executive Director of dare2tri), injured service members of the dare2tri Paratriathlon club and also Paula Radcliffe, the world record holder in the women’s marathon.
- He finds his guides that will help during races through friends and organizations like C Different. Israel is very appreciative of Guides that fly themselves to races so that they can guide him. He is also grateful for the friends that open their homes to him while traveling.
- Israel has run 2+ marathons and 6+ half marathons, along with numerous Ironman competitions. He is a two-time Boston qualifier.
- This April Israel will be running Boston and his goal is a sub-four hour marathon.
- Israel ran 1:44 this past January here at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. He loves Houston because it is well organized, has great hoopla and the volunteers are strict but friendly.
- While Israel does not keep track of his weekly mileage, he also does not take any time off from training. And he communicates with his guides year around.
- Israel competes for two charities – C Different and Imerman’s Angels
Bonus Fact – In May, Israel will compete at the U.S. Paratriathlon National Championships, hosted by the Capitol of Texas Triathlon.
C Different is one of the Chevron Houston Marathon’s Run for a Reason official charities. For more information on C Different, visit www.cdifferent.org. For more information on the Run For a Reason Charity Program, visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/RunForAReasonInfo.cfm.
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