BOSTON (CBS) — Chris Nikic, a 22-year-old runner with Down syndrome, completed the Boston Marathon for the first time on Monday. He finished with a time of 6:01:22.
“It’s such an amazing day,” Chris said to WBZ-TV after finishing. “When I tackled those hills, it was tough. But I knew that I could make it.”
Last year, Chris became the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. He swam 2.4 miles in the Panama City, Fla., competition, biked 112 miles, and ran 26.2 miles.
His mom, Trish Nikic, had tears in her eyes as she spoke about how proud she was of her son.
“I can’t say it was a dream come true because it was never a dream. Because all of this just unfolded,” Trish said. “He was three years old just using a walker to walk. So I can’t even tell you how overwhelmed I am at what he has done in the last few years through Special Olympics number one, and then Ironman, and then to be invited here to Boston.”
Chris’s guide during the run, Amanda, thanked the crowd for their support for Chris along the way.
“The crowd support was just amazing. They kept yelling, ‘Go Chris!’ So, Boston is an amazing city. Such an amazing race,” she said. “I’m so proud of Chris for doing an awesome job and finishing strong.”
Chris is set to run the New York City Marathon on November 3, and he also told WBZ-TV he plans to do another Ironman.
Chris has been honored with two ESPY sports awards, and he is also a public speaker. He also has his own book, ‘1% Better.’