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  • Writer's pictureallaccesslife

The No Limits Marathon

On October 17th, Brad and I ran our first marathon together. On this day, I witnessed one of the most incredible displays of determination and resilience I've seen in my entire life. One thing is sure, Brad has the heart of a lion!

A black and white picture of Dan and Brad. Dan is pointing at the text on his hat that says "No Limits" and Brad is beside him with a huge smile on his face.

It’s nice to have "No Limits" and "Defy Logic" slogans written on our hats and Logitech sponsored flag, but when these become more than just slogans… when you actually see the no limits mindset take form through a courageous act that defies logic it's a whole different story!

A picture of the Logitech Sponsored flag. It is white and has black text that reads "Defy Logic"
The All Access Life team hat. It is navy blue and has text on the front that says "No Limits"

Brad faced two MAJOR obstacles during our marathon and, I'm still in utter disbelief at what I witnessed on that day…

Read till the end. You don’t want to miss this!

A picture of the All Access Life team about to cross the finish line. Brad is in his adaptive walker with a proud smile on his face. Dan is raising his hand cheering Brad on. A member of their team is hoisting the Logitech flag high. The other team members are seen clapping cheering Brad on!



Over a year ago, Brad set a goal to run the last 2.2 km of a 42.2 km marathon with his adaptive walker (Rifton gait trainer). The plan was that I would run 40 km, pushing Brad in his adaptive jogging stroller (Josi) and he would get transferred into his gait trainer to finish the marathon, leading us across the finish line on his own two feet! At the time this 2.2 km goal seemed a bit too ambitious. The furthest Brad ever ran before setting this goal was about 1 km. Brad always aims high and it’s truly an honor to help him achieve anything he sets his mind to. So, I was onboard with this ambitious goal.

A year of hard work and training would ensue. We both trained to the point where we were ready to conquer our respective distances.

A picture of Brad in his adaptive walker with a huge smile on his face. Text is overlaid on the picture that reads "I did my first 2km today!!! So proud of myself!!! Only need 200m more for the marathon!!!"

Our sights were set on running the Montreal Marathon on September 26th to raise funds for our non-profit, All Access Life. We set up a GoFundMe campaign and solicited sponsorships. We planned on running with a team that would all represent All Access Life.

Each runner would wear a custom-made Ciele Athletics hat that Bradley designed using his eye-tracking device. He literally drew the text “NO LIMITS” on the front of the hats using his eyes!

Brad is sitting in his wheelchair with a big smile on his face. Attached to his chair is his communication device. On the screen is the text that Brad drew with his eyes that reads "No Limits"

The All Access Life team shirt! In the middle is the All Access Life logo. Surrounding it are their 4 Gold Sponsors (Wix, Tobii Dynavox, Rifton, Muve)

Each runner would also wear a custom-made t-shirt with our logo and sponsors on the front. Finally, we’d be running with a Logitech sponsored flag attached to the adaptive jogging stroller. We had it all planned out!

Unfortunately, this event was cancelled due to Covid. Instead of letting this situation get the best of us, we went right back to the drawing board. The only local event that was still happening was a half marathon race. We knew we didn’t want to settle for half the distance, so we agreed to run a half marathon (just the two of us) prior to the actual event. This meant we would run two half marathons, back to back meeting our 42.2 km marathon goal. The plan was to run 21.1 km to meet up with the All Access Life running team and to complete the actual half marathon together!

The local event began at 9:05am. The plan was to arrive at the local half-marathon event 30 minutes before it began. This way, Brad would have enough time to use the washroom and have a drink. Brad and I had to start our 21.1 km warmup at 6:15am This meant a 4:00am wakeup for us! Greatness isn’t achieved by being comfortable so we were prepared to do what it takes to reach our goal.

We met with the event organizers and told them our plan. They were extremely helpful and supported us all the way! Together we mapped out a location where we would transfer Brad from his adaptive jogging stroller to his gait trainer so he could complete the remaining 2.2 km to the finish line.

Our plan was set in stone, our sponsors were locked in and our training was done… IT WAS GO TIME!!!


The Marathon


October 17th arrived and we were R-E-A-D-Y.

We both had a difficult time sleeping the night before due to the magnitude of this event. We spent over a year planning, organizing, looking for sponsors, promoting and training. Our anxiety was extremely high. I got roughly 45 minutes of sleep and Brad only a few hours.

Our 6:15 am start time didn’t pan out that morning. We started running at 6:35. As we began running I realized this meant that I had to pick up the pace from 2hr 15min to a 2hr half-marathon pace to ensure Brad had ample time to use the washroom and have a drink before the local event started. Brad wouldn’t want me to jeopardize myself for his needs so I didn’t say anything to him.

Brad and Dan about to start their run. It's dark outside. Brad is sitting in his jogging stroller cozily wrapped in a blanket and Dan is behind him getting ready to push. They are both smiling. They are both ready to conquer!

It was a chilly fall morning and it was pitch black outside. Brad was cozily bundled up in a sherpa blanket with gloves on and I was wearing a running jacket to keep me warm. We kicked off our run at a nice easy pace. The streets were completely empty. The only sound that could be heard was our “Defy Logic” Logitech sponsored flag flapping in the wind.

The sun began to rise and the fall colors exploded as we ran along the bike path. The first 2 km went by extremely fast. Brad and I were beaming with excitement knowing we were in the midst of accomplishing both our greatest athletic achievements to-date. The furthest distance I’ve ever ran was 32 km without pushing Brad. The longest we’d ever run together was a half marathon (21.1 km) - we were now setting out to do two half marathons!

A person is seen on the bike path in front of Brad and Dan. They are holding a large yellow sign that says "Go Brad and Dan!"

At our third kilometer we noticed a runner on the bike path way off in the distance. We were going at a steady pace so we were slowly catching up. All of a sudden the runner stopped running and turned around holding a huge sign and began running towards us!! Brad let out a sound of joy and excitement! As they got closer we saw the sign read “GO BRAD AND DAN!!” It was Brad’s friend, which he has known for 12+ years! We were both surprised! Someone who's willing to come out at 6:50 in the morning to cheer us on! We were seriously touched. She ran with us for a kilometer and then headed back home. Brad and I got a huge boost of motivation from this encounter and were smiling from ear to ear as we ran the next kilometer.

At around 7:00 am, we noticed a large group of 10 to-15 people waiting as we approached one of the train stations. They can’t be here for us? No way!? Sure enough, as we got closer we heard drums, maracas and loud cheering! We couldn’t believe our ears and eyes! As we got closer we realized that they were staff members from the specialized elementary school that Brad went to, the Mackay Center (also where I currently work). They brought their spouses and kids - a group of supporters screaming our names and cheering us on at max decibel levels at 7 o’clock in the morning! As we ran through the crowd we got choked up. It was one of those moments in life when you realize the value and importance of human connection. Here’s a group of people who planned to surprise us on the run - who most likely woke up much earlier than usual on a Sunday, to come out and show their support. As tears of joy built up in our eyes we raised our hands to show our appreciation. Our motivation was now at peak levels and we were ready to move mountains!

Brad and Dan are seen running alongside Dan's dad! Dan is chatting with his dad as they run.

6 km into the run and feeling great! We were approaching the street of my childhood. As we got closer, we noticed a figure walking towards us on the bike path. I knew from their walk that it was my father! He’s ran upwards of 30 marathons so it was fitting he’d be there to cheer us on for our first marathon!

Dan is holding up his hand in excitement! His brother is in a black SUV which is passing them.

Just as we were passing by the street of my childhood, we noticed my brother pulling out in his car! He began honking the horn and cheering us on from the window! What the hell is going on we thought?! The amount of support we had received up until this point was off the charts!

...and there were more...ahead of us at the next train station was another group of people!! Hey! The same group of people as before were following us along our route. Again, we ran through a barrage of encouragement, motivation and support. Words can’t describe the excitement we were feeling.

This group of supporters and my father would follow us to two more locations as we continued on our run. My father used his phone to put other family members on video so they could cheer us on and show their support!

The rest of the first half marathon went by smoothly. We got to the event on time and completed the first half marathon in 2 hours. This meant Brad had 30 minutes to use the washroom and drink. We felt accomplished.

We met up with our team and everyone was rocking the custom-made No Limits hat and team shirts! We all looked LEGIT! We gathered by our team tent provided to us by the event organizers. Parked beside our tent was a Muve vehicle (one of our sponsor's adaptive vehicles). It was fully wrapped in promotional material that displayed our partnership with them. It was spot on! A staff member from Brad's elementary school transferred Brad into his wheelchair so his mom and sister could begin nurturing him. I made sure to stretch and hydrate before the next half began. I was concerned my leg muscles would tense up during this 30 minute break making the next half much more difficult.



At 9:05 we marched over to the starting line. As we waited there I couldn’t help but think back to how it all began…...

When Brad was in grade 9 we heard about a father and son named Dick and Rick Hoyt, who ran marathons together. Rick was born with cerebral palsy and his father, Dick, always went above and beyond the call of duty to give Rick the best life possible. He would say that it was his son running the marathon, he was simply lending him his legs. Dick was the motor and Rick was the heart. Their story resonated with Brad and I deeply. I promised Brad one day I would lend him my legs, and Brad would run a marathon of his own. Here we were, halfway through the marathon and 19 km away from Brad leading us across the finish line on his own two feet.

A picture of the All Access Life team taken at the start of the run. Everyone is smiling ear to ear.

As I began pushing Brad at the start of our team half marathon, I looked around. Seeing my girlfriend and our friends running by our side, wearing the All Access Life team apparel, all smiling ear to ear, everyone connected and joined together for a common cause, I knew this was it. This is what it’s all about. This is success. This is love. This is life. Even though Brad is nonverbal his face spoke volumes. He was radiating happiness and joy as we cruised along. This moment will forever be imprinted in my memory.

Members of the team knew I was exhausted and offered to take turns pushing Brad, offering me their energy gels and Gatorade. None of this was planned, just a team being a team. We ran at a comfortable pace and chatted while we ran. Each member of the team was at different points in their running career. Some members never went further than 12 km, ever! On this day, everyone knew we were all crossing that finish line together as a team one way or another.

A team member is pushing Brad in his jogging stroller. Dan is running beside them with a big smile on his face.

Brad loved being pushed by different people. Each person chatted with him and had their own pushing technique. Some techniques were better than others haha (there may or may not have been a few close encounters with obstacles). We all ran together, laughed together and went through pain together.

About halfway through, someone from behind us called out. It was Brad’s elementary school gym teacher (in background dressed in all black in picture above)! He was out on his morning run and decided to meet up with us to show his support. In elementary school, He used to bring Brad to competitions where he would compete against others in his gait trainer. It was extremely fitting he was there. We were unsure how long he was going to run with us. He would run the entire way and made his presence known, especially down the home stretch.

We finished the second loop of the course and the transfer location we previously selected was approaching. Brad’s mom and another highly supportive staff member from Brad’s elementary school were waiting there with his gait trainer. As we approached them, we looked at our watches and realized we were only at 17 km mark!? WTF?! This meant there was another 4 km to go - not 2.1 km!!!?

Oops , something went wrong, horribly wrong.

What do we do?!

My brain was hurting from all the possible scenarios, but only two were plausible:

  1. We finish the run pushing Brad in his jogging stroller

  2. Brad runs 4 km, a distance he has never even come close to.

Everyone was so confused and trying to figure out what was going on. I looked over to Brad and gave him the two options. I know him very well and I figured he would most likely choose to do the 4 km but, at the same time I was asking myself if this was safe. Is this even feasible? Will he get hurt? Will he pass out? So many unsettling thoughts were racing through my mind.

Brad thought about it for a second then gave me a reassuring look that he was ready to attempt 4 km for the first time in his life. I could see a bit of fear on his face, but what you need to know about Brad is that he likes to face his fears - to use fear as a compass and guide him through life. So, we transferred Brad into the gait trainer, Brad’s mom secured his “No Limits'' hat to his head and my girlfriend hoisted the “Defy Logic” flag high. Step, by step, by step, we marched…

Brad in his adaptive walker at the beginning of his run. He looks nervous. The team is cheering him on with encouragement.

Everything came to a screeching halt about 400 meters in.

“Danny there’s blood on his knee” My girlfriend shouted…...

A picture of Brad's knee. In this picture a small amount of blood is beginning to form.

I glanced down at Brad’s knee - there was a profound blood splotch the size of a golf ball. I stopped him for a second and asked if he was okay. He looked down at his knee and saw the blood. Regaining his composure, he continued to move forward. Part of me loved this warrior's mentality, but the other part was concerned.

I saw the fear in our team's eyes as they looked at Brad’s legs and as he continued marching forward. The golf sized blood splotch slowly began to worsen. I had no choice but to stop him to examine his knee. Brad gestured that he wanted to keep on going towards the finish. Brad and I have been working together for over 11 years. I knew he was a tough and resilient young man, but could he really get past this? He had 3.5 km to go with blood dripping from his knee.

A picture of Brad's face. He has a look of determination and strength that is unmatchable!

Brad was determined, he wasn’t going to let this stop him from reaching his goal and neither would I… Call me crazy, but if I was in his shoes I’d do the same thing. As much as I wanted to “do the right thing” and stop the race, transfer him into his wheelchair and find medics to check him out, I supported his decision. Step by step we inched our way to that finish line.

A picture of Brad's legs from behind. His left knee has a black shirt tied around it.

As we marched along, my friends literally took the shirts off their backs so that my girlfriend could tie them around Brad’s knee. All of us came together to cheer Brad down this final stretch. Oh boy, was he even more determined, despite his obvious struggle. He was digging deep, giving it everything he had - putting one foot in front of the other.

My father, my uncle, Brad’s sister, his aunt and his elementary school gym teacher were marching with the All Access Life team, cheering Brad on. Brad’s gym teacher's words were moving Brad and pulling everything he had left out of him.

Every time Brad would start to fade, members of the team would boost him up by playing pump up music on their phones or reassuring him that we were almost at the finish line - to keep pushing! He would perk back up and continue moving forward.

Suddenly, we could see the finish line! Finally! At this point Brad’s gas tank was running empty. He had nothing left to give and I could see the pain on his face. They say a champion’s workout only starts when pain arrives. On this day Brad completed one of the most badass champion workouts I’ve ever seen.

“Think of all the things that piss you off” my girlfriend yelled at Brad.

Suddenly he found a gear I’ve never seen before and started making noises and sounds I’ve never heard before. He hit speeds with his gait trainer he’s never hit before.

Our team began chanting “BRAD!!! BRAD!!! BRAD!!! BRAD!!!!”

Tears began flowing from my eyes setting off a chain reaction. The team and the crowd were tearing up as well. This was Brad’s moment. He was truly displaying that no limits mindset and defying logic. On this day those were more than just slogans. Brad's actions brought the slogans to life. This was Brad’s defining moment. On this day Brad rose above all odds and displayed a level of determination and resilience that will forever be remembered.

He crossed the finish line, slumped down in his gait trainer. He made it! 4.2 km!! Unbelievable.

Marathon #1 is in the books. What’s next for us?! Stay tuned. We are just getting started!

A team picture after the run. Everyone is beaming with excitement, especially Brad. He is in his wheelchair. Dan is holding the Logitech flag and displaying the "Defy Logic" text. The team is standing in front of a Muve vehicle, which is one of their sponsors!


Brad did get medical attention. It turned out to be an extremely small friction wound that developed because his knees rubbed together during the 4+ hours jogging towards the finish line. He didn’t feel much because of the adrenaline but the blood pumping through his body must have caused it to bleed more than usual. In the end, he was totally fine, just extremely exhausted, just as I and the team were. What an emotional day!


Thanks to everyone who has supported us on this journey, we wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for you! We are very close to hitting our GoFundMe goal for this event! If you'd like to help us reach our goal click the following link:

Lastly, a huge thanks to all of our sponsors for this event. There were five companies that crossed the finish line with us on October 17th.

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

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Patricia Martin
Patricia Martin
Oct 25, 2021

Amazing story of an incredible accomplishment! Congratulations to two very brave and inspiring young men!

Oct 27, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much!!! 😃😃😃


anick legault
anick legault
Oct 25, 2021

Yayyyy for Brad (and Dany)!!! AL:-) xx

Oct 27, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much!!! 😃😃😃 Hope all is well!!!

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