The 2017 Austin Rockin’ Resolution Race Ambassador is Kayleigh Williamson.
An inspiring real life example of how a resolution can be accomplished
Kayleigh made history at the 2017 Austin Marathon when she became the first female participant with Down Syndrome to complete the Austin half marathon. Her finish has been seen around the world with over 2 million views. Kayleigh has been a Special Olympic athlete since 2001 when she joined Austin Independent School District track and bowling team. In 2004, she joined the City of Austin McBeth Recreation Center’s Special Olympic team in basketball and swimming – which she still participates in today.
Her journey to running actually started in 2011 when she participated in her first Chuy’s 5K race. Over time, she would add to her list of 5K’s Run with the Heroes, Schlotzkey’s Bun Run, the Sunshine Run and the Diva 5K in Galveston. In the fall of 2015, Kayleigh decided she wanted to work towards her first half marathon. It took a lot of time and determination to get to the 2017 Austin Half Marathon which included her first ‘80s 8K and Run for the Water 10-miler.
Run for The Water was not an easy race for Kayleigh. It started with many high fives and words of encouragement from fellow runners but by mile 8 Kayleigh, her mom and her trainer had to move to the sidewalk so the race could clear the roads. Once moved to the sidewalks, Kayleigh started experiencing pain in her right foot. With the cheers of many strangers on the hike and bike trails as well as the encouragement from her mom and trainer, Kayleigh finished the race. In those last two miles, Kayleigh turned down two offers to ride to the finish line – a finish line that had long been dismantled. Once she arrived, the race committee created a finish line for her as she ran to it limping while she flicked her hair.