BOSTON (CBS) — Monday’s 125th running of the Boston Marathon was a special one for so many reasons. In addition to being the first Boston Marathon in 910 days, it is also the first time that prize money is being awarded to the top para athlete finishers.
Boston is the first marathon to offer up such prize rewards, with more than $27,000 available for finishers in three divisions: vision impairment, lower-limb impairment and upper-limb impairment.READ MORE: Injuries Reported At Car Crash In South Boston
One of the first winners to cross the finish line is a local, too. Chaz Davis of Grafton won the vision impairment division, finishing with a time of 2:46:52.
He did so despite rolling his ankle early in the race. The pain grew immense for Davis, but he persevered. He said that he had to finish and finish strong, knowing that a win on Monday could inspire others for years.
“It does [feel special],” Davis told WBZ-TV’s David Wade. “Less than halfway through I was in such immense pain that I though about just stopping right there. But No. 1, it’s Boston. And No. 2, I wanted to set an example for everyone else out there who might think people with disabilities can’t do it.READ MORE: State Workers Face Sunday Deadline To Get COVID Vaccine Or Risk Losing Jobs
“That’s really what brought me to the finish,” said Davis. “I’m really proud and grateful.”
Davis started to lose his vision back in 2013, during his freshman year at the University of Hartford, and he is now legally blind. He hopes that his win on Monday inspires others to run the 26.2 miles some day.
“When athletes with disabilities started running in the Boston Marathon, I really think people with visual impairments would have been right there with the wheelchair athletes back in 1975,” said Davis. “To see this come to fruition in the last couple of years, I really hope this sets the standards for other Marathon Majors and other marathons to come. I’m really proud of Boston and the B.A.A. for that.”
Davis now lives in Brighton, and had family and friends cheering him on and watching from home as he made Boston Marathon history on Monday.MORE NEWS: Lawrence Teachers Will Rally Before School In Response To Increased Fighting