BOSTON (CBS) — For double amputee Marko Cheseto, the Boston Marathon crowds made all the difference. They helped him finish in 2:42:24, the fastest-ever marathon by a double amputee.
“The crowd was amazing, they were just cheering, particularly on the hills,” he told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton. “I don’t know how they could tell that I was almost struggling but they were like, ‘Hey, number 117 you got this!’ And I was like ‘no, I can’t let these people down.”
“It was so amazing out there. We are running and we see the spectators, the security personnel and I felt like, man, everything is taken care of. I didn’t have to worry about anything,” he said.
Cheseto was running to support the 50 Legs foundation which helps provide prosthetic legs to people who might not be able to afford them.
“I am originally from Kenya and I was recruited to the University of Alaska Anchorage track and field and cross country. In 2011, I lost both my feet below the knee due to frostbite,” he said.
“But I never give up. One thing I told myself was the condition that I have was just a phenomenon that happened in my life, it does not define who I am. I still have my inner power.”
Cheseto said he wants to return to Boston for the para-athlete division that the B.A.A. will introduce in 2020.
“We’ve never been given an opportunity in a big, big race. So this is great, we want to take it to a greater level. We want people to know that if somebody has a physical condition it does not limit what they can do,” he explained.