By Amy Howe
Mark has been running for over 25 years – initially as a way to relieve stress – then quickly turning into something a bit more personal. “I found it allowed me to enjoy time with God in His creation and have continued running,” he said.
Running for so many years has allowed Mark to train his way to competing in multiple 5K’s and even ultra-distance runs. Mark’s inspiration for continuing to run, and now helping others, is his son, Landin Myers.
Landin was born with cerebral palsy, and while his legs may not allow him to run long runs, he doesn’t let that stop him. “I have had multiple leg surgeries over the years but have always done my best,” said Landin. “I have run the Lamar Fair one-mile run with my dad and even the Up and Over obstacle course race a couple of time.” Landin has also competed in Special Olympics track meets and regular track meets as a senior at Lamar High School. “I have never let my disability be an excuse but have always told people no matter what problem they have, they can still do something,” he said.
Mark also teaches others to run. “I have taught sessions of the Run for God program showing the connection between spiritual health and physical health and how important training yourself and setting goals helps the health of both,” said Mark.
Running is not all Mark and Landin do together. A few years ago, Landin received a recumbent trike from his parents. One of Mark and Landin’s goals is to ride the length of the Katy Trail. The duo also plans to enter the team competition at the Summer Round Up triathlon, one of Landin’s favorite races.
If you’ve ever competed in a local race, chances are, Landin was there cheering for you. “I’m always proudest when I see Landin encouraging others at races,” said Mark.
For Landin, he’s not letting his disability stop him. “My dad has always told me ‘When you run, you may fall but it’s the getting back up that is important,’” said Landin.
Mark loves Landin’s high spirit for others and himself. “He has never let CP stop him and has always found ways around it, maintaining a positive outlook even after going through multiple surgeries through the years,” said Mark.
When Mark and Landin aren’t running, they enjoy fishing together, riding bikes and helping at church activities.
See more photos in the August 2022 issue of Show Me the Ozarks Magazine