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Runner with Down syndrome defies odds at Lost Dutchman Marathon in Apache Junction

Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 13:24:11-05

APACHE JUNCTION, AZ — Hundreds of runners pounded pavement under the view of the Superstition Mountains to finish the Lost Dutchman Marathon in Apache Junction.

One participant, Daniel Chaplin, finished the half marathon in just under four hours, which is an accomplishment in itself. However, for Chaplin, the finish is even bigger.

"I never thought I'd be able to do this at all," says Chaplin.

He struggles with muscle tone making any physical activity an uphill battle. He was told he'd never complete one marathon. Yet, the Lost Dutchman Marathon is Chaplin's 26th half marathon since 2013.

"There's a lot of people with Down syndrome who can do half marathons, they just need to realize it and be given a chance," says Daniel's dad David Chaplin.

To help others reach their full potential, Chaplin plans to complete 50 half marathons -- one in every state.

"I want to show people with Down syndrome that you can be active like me and have a future," he says.

Beyond 50 half marathons, he doesn't just hope, but expects to complete a full marathon.

His dad has been nothing but supportive.

"If you start out thinking that can't possibly happen, it won’t. That's for sure."