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This LA Marathon runner is ‘running’ it on crutches this year

While most people ran the L.A. Marathon on two feet, Paul Brestyanszky ran it on four.
Two were crutches, though.
“I’m hanging on,” he said just minutes before the race began. “I have no choice it’s my 34th.”
The legacy runner has ran every L.A. Marathon since the beginning. But when he slipped, fell and fractured his patella bone in his knee, he had to get creative.
“I’ve been doing a lot of bench presses,” he said. An exercise he’s hoping will condition his armpits and pecks for the hours of walking on the crutches he’s going to endure Sunday. But, he’s not going for his 1983 record of two hours, 59 minutes. Today, his goal is much simpler.
“The point is no records, just finishing,” he said. “I’ve set my records early on. (But) I’ve never seen the low side of 4 hours.”
Brestyanszky has had the past couple of weeks to get used to the crutches and Sunday morning he warmed up with a three mile walk beforehand, with his home flag from Hungry pinned on his bib.


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He encourages first-timers to pace themselves immediately — with the huge crowd the first mile can sometimes take 20 minutes or more.
“Don’t get caught up in the excitement and the madness of the start,” he said. “Conserve your energy.”
But, he said, ultimately it’s all about one thing: crossing the finish line no matter what your time is.
“The most exciting thing about doing the marathon?” he said rhetorically. “The finish and the people you meet along the way.”

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