Hollie Hughes just broke the Guinness Book world record pushing a wheelchair at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in a time of 1:24:52. I had the honor and privilege of talking with her before an after the race right here in my city of Indianapolis. We recorded this interview before the race and then I got to get a big hug and high five from her and Jonah at the post race party.
Hollie is the mother of four and her son Jonah, who she pushes when she races (really fast!), has Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. Hollie and her husband are huge advocates for inclusion for Jonah and other children with special needs and I loved learning about how they do life. Though Hollie is a 2:57 marathoner, she has pushed Jonah to a 3:08 marathon and has no desire to race without the chair – this is their thing together and it is so special. Jonah is the biggest encourager not only to Hollie but to every single runner on the course.
Hollie has also struggled with some health issues of her own, after being diagnosed with Addison’s disease (an adrenal disease) just a couple of years ago, her Doctor told her she’d need to hang up running. She has continued to prove this theory wrong and defy the odds. One of my favorite things about Hollie is her heart of gratitude even when life feels hard. When I asked her how she does all that she does she says “You just do”. I like that. Keep moving forward and just do.
Below is a picture after the race- I have never felt so special as when Jonah requested a picture together. Nothing will compare.