NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – The incredible mental toughness of a Fox Valley teenager will get him onto the starting line of the half marathon race of the Fox Cities Marathon this weekend.
Gabriel Langlois, who is 12 years old, was born with spina bifida which keeps him in a wheelchair. But that hasn’t stopped him from training for a half marathon which is 13.1 miles.
“I figured I could do it and show everybody else I could do as much as them,” said Gabriel.
He’s not racing alone. His father Daniel and grandfather James will be running right alongside him.
“Not many people get to have this time to spend with family, to get to do this with three generations in a single race together it’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Daniel.
“I thought it’d be neat to have three generations going together, it’s quite unique,” said James.
Daniel said it was Gabriel who suggested running the race and Daniel and James wanted to support him and make family memories so they decided to do it as well.
Gabriel has been training for the half marathon since the spring. He told Local Five News that he has done 5k and 10k races before, but is more than doubling his distance by doing the half marathon distance.
He said on the weekends he does 13 or 14-mile long runs so he’s prepared for the 13.1-mile race this weekend.
“It’s fantastic seeing him grow up and being able to do all things he’s been able to do and accomplish all the things he’s been able to accomplish,” said Daniel.
“Gabriel doesn’t consider himself with a disability, he just does what everybody else does just sitting down,” said James.
Gabriel told Local Five News that next year he’d like to train for a full marathon. That’s 26.2 miles.