A 33-year-old woman with Down syndrome made history Sunday, when she became one of the first women with the condition to complete the New York City Marathon.
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Kayleigh Williamson exuded joy throughout the 10-hour, 9-minute journey, with her mom, Sandy Williamson, running alongside her, People magazine reported.
Sandy said the entire experience was “emotional.”
“New York changed the way I saw my daughter,” the mom said. “Every time she heard music she stopped to dance. It was very emotional for her at the end — the last two miles.”
Despite the pain and, at moments, tears, Kayleigh continued.
“Kayleigh didn’t stop,” Sandy said. “She didn’t want to give up.”
As for Kayleigh, she joked she’s a “diva” and was trying to fix her hair throughout the race.
“I did a victory dance at the finish line,” she added.
A video posted on Instagram by the New York City Marathon account shows an emotional Kayleigh crossing the finish line.
“Kayleigh Williamson becomes one of the first women with Down syndrome to run a marathon at the #TCSNYCMarathon,” the caption reads. “Send some [love] to Kayleigh in the comments on this historic moment.”
The post has over two million likes and over 50,000 comments, with many praising Kayleigh for accomplishing the incredible feat.
And this isn’t the first time Kayleigh has made history. She became the first person with Down syndrome ever to finish the Austin Marathon in 2022, with the Texas city honoring her by making Feb. 20 “Kayleigh Williamson Day.”
And she was reportedly only the second person with a cognitive disability to participate in the 2023 Boston Marathon, KVUE-TV reported.
Kayleigh told People she absolutely loves running.
“I like to run, because it makes me feel happy,” she said.
Bravo for her hard work, dedication, and a job well done!
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