“I was training to help push my sport forward”
Hailey Danisewicz lost her left leg to bone cancer, but hasn’t slowed her down. She’s now a competitive paratriathlete, a marathon runner and world record holder. As a born competitor, she serves as an inspiration for every runner.
Two years ago, competitive sprint distance triathlete Hailey Danisewicz didn’t give a marathon much thought. In fall 2014, she laced up the Cloudsurfer and set a new world record for amputee runners with 4:25:28. Thriven by a special goal and fuel by a remarkable motivation, Hailey made it to the top of the podium. „The idea of spending several hours running steadily was of no interest to me“, states Hailey looking back to her time as a competitive sprint distance triathlete. That was until One Step, an organization that operates camps for kids with cancer was putting together a fundraising team for the Chicago marathon: “As a beneficiary of this charity for many years, I wanted to give back to the cause, and saw running the marathon as a great way to do that“. Still a little sceptical about the long distance but entirely dedicated to the goal, Hailey started to train. Everything went well: More and more she got into paced long runs, her body remained healthy and strong – and she had more fun with her training than she has had in a long time. With the training, new goals arose. Hailey focused on breaking the world record. Like every runner, she also went through some tough training phases, experienced downs. „In those moments, I simply reminded myself of the goal. I was training to break a world record, but I was also training to help push my sport forward, and to set a new standard for amputee runners”. During all those hours of training, Hailey kept looking for the perfect support in terms of shoes. In May 2014, the Cloudsurfer became part of her journey. Looking for a shoe that promoted a natural running gait and provided cushioning for long runs, she tried the Cloudsurfer: “With my first season of racing in the Cloudsurfer under my belt, I have been nothing but pleased. With only one good leg to work with, my take-off and overall running efficiency become even more important. But all of the extra impact that my right leg sustains also makes a soft landing important for helping my leg hold up in the long runs. The Cloudsurfer gives me the best of both worlds: a cushioning system that delays fatigue without sacrificing my natural gait”. On November 1, 2014, the moment has come: Hailey took of – 42.195 kilometres ahead of her. “The last 10K was without a doubt one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was giving it everything I had, but I had hit a wall, and I hit it hard. During this stretch, it was my coach’s flawless execution of tough love that kept me moving forward. She ran just ahead of me, and would turn around and tell me to catch up whenever I fell more than 6 feet behind her. It was a painful strategy, but it worked”. In the end, Hailey made her dream come true: After 4:25:28, she crossed the finish line, setting a new world record. Congratulations Hailey on an incredible achievement. You are an inspiring example of a passionate, dedicated athlete, a real runner: “A runner views running not as a chore or as a means to an end; a runner views running as an insatiable craving, an inherent motivation, and an integral part of who they are.” Hailey, we are proud to be part of your passionate journey and wish you all the best for your next big goal, the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. May you run on Clouds! Hailey’s next race: March 13, 2015, Gold Coast Australia Follow Haileys journey on her blog