Runners with disabilities prepare for Chicago Marathon

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In two weeks, over 40,000 participants will be running 26.2 miles through the city as part of the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. A number of these runners are people with disabilities.

Like many of these runners, there are personal reasons for competing in the marathon, and it's not always related to their disability.
Tommy Cornille, 26, will be running the Chicago Marathon for the fourth time.

"Running the marathon isn't so much about athleticism, it's the comradery of all the people, I fell in love with that, it's something where you can push yourself," Cornille said.

"I always played sports growing up, never running, never liked running one bit," Cornille said. "About just over four years ago my sister signed me up for my first race without even telling me. I got hooked."

Cornille runs with a blade leg. He was born a below-knee amputee.

"It's kinda almost springy when you push off your toe, it keeps you moving," he said.

Last year he finished with his best time, which was four hours and 17 minutes.

"I wanna go three hours and 50 minutes," he said about his goal for this year.

Israel Antonio, 37, is running his fifth Chicago Marathon.

"My best time is three hours and 50 minutes," Antonio said. "I like to break three hours and 30 minutes this time."

Antonio is legally blind and runs with a guide. He is both a marathoner and triathlete.

"I prefer marathons just because I love running, even when I had sight I used to run really fast, I was a sprinter growing up," Antonio said.

Both Cornille and Antonio ran the Boston Marathon. Cornille was on the course when the bomb went off in 2013.

"I never got to finish, half mile to go," he said. "They gave me a projected time but I don't like it so I gotta go back."

Antonio ran it this spring.

"It was really wonderful, it was probably one of the most magnificent experiences of my life and I can't wait to get back there and to do it again," he said.

And now, every time Cornille runs, he will be thinking about what happened at Boston.

"I'm running for me, I'm running for them and I'm running with them even if they're not there," he said.

For more information on the Chicago Marathon, visit www.ChicagoMarathon.com.
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