Father pushes disabled son across marathon finish line for 56th time

(People's Daily Online) 14:26, February 22, 2023

A father caught widespread attention when he crossed the finish line while pushing his son in a tricycle at the Shenzhen Marathon 2022, which was held on Feb. 19, 2023.

It took Luo Shujian, the father, 1 hour and 59 minutes to finish the race, which is the 56th the father and son have participated in together.

Luo Shujian and his son during the Shenzhen Marathon. (Photo/CCTV News)

"I hadn't trained enough for the race beforehand so I decided to take part in the half marathon," said the father, who added that he cared more about his son being able to enjoy the race than the result.

45-year-old Luo is a delivery man from Jinhua city in east China's Zhejiang Province. His son, who is 13 years old, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy not long after he was born due to severe asphyxia that lasted 15 minutes at birth.

Later, the boy also developed signs of autism and was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy. His level of intelligence is the same as that of a toddler.

In 2010, Luo read a story about a father overseas who had run more than 1,000 races with his disabled son. Greatly inspired by the story, Luo decided to take his son across the country while taking part in marathons so that he could live a life with no regrets.

Luo Shujian and his son during the Shenzhen Marathon. (Photo/CCTV News)

Without any prior experience in running, Luo started to train. "I usually get up at 4:30 a.m. and start running at 5 a.m. The training lasts about one and a half hours, and after that I go back home, freshen up and then go to work," Luo said.

In November 2015, Luo and his son took part in their first marathon race. So far, the duo has been to more than 20 cities across the country, taking part in 56 marathons.

Luo's best results are 3 hours and 28 minutes for a full marathon and 1 hour and 33 minutes for a half marathon race.

Luo Shujian and his son. (Photo/CCTV News)

"My son enjoys the lively races and is keen to see the outside world," said Luo, adding that they have seen giant pandas in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, visited the Great Wall in Beijing and gone to the beach in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, when they went to those cities to participate in marathons.

Luo said that after the marathon in Shenzhen, he would like to take his son to visit Shenzhen Bay, one of the city’s landmarks. These experiences have a noticeable effect on his son, Luo said, adding that the boy is currently in stable condition and is always cheerful during those trips.

Luo Shujian runs with his disabled son during a marathon. (Photo/CCTV News)

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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