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A Story of Perseverance : Chris Gordon’s Boston Journey

Chris Gordon's story is a story of perseverance and grit.
Chris Gordon is no stranger to endurance challenges. As a long-time runner, he completed multiple marathons before a devastating flesh-eating disease nearly took his life in 2014. Against all odds, Chris survived and has since found renewed purpose through running and motivating others. His story is one that is a story of perseverance. 

Defied Expectations 

His infection began innocently enough when a scrape on his right hand became infected. But within days his health rapidly deteriorated as the aggressive infection quickly spread, threatening vital organs. After emergency surgery and months recovering in the hospital, Chris defied expectations by pulling through. However, the disease and subsequent treatments left him physically and emotionally battered, with extensive skin grafts covering the upper right half of his body.

His Life Still Had Purpose 

Once mobile again, Chris’ thoughts returned to running – an activity closely tied to his identity and mental wellbeing. He began to walk, then jog, driven forward by a vision: crossing the finish line at the prestigious Boston Marathon after all he’d endured. Qualifying for Boston became his mission to prove, most importantly to himself, that his life still had purpose. As Chris puts it, “I wanted to get back to running as soon as I could after I was hospitalized…After I was discharged and I started getting back into running, I felt a renewed spirit to get not only back in shape, but to be better than I ever had before.”

Trained Diligently 

After regaining sufficient fitness, Chris hired elite running coach Andrew Snow to help tackle the monumental goal of qualifying for Boston. He trained diligently for months, preparing to run the Med City Marathon in Rochester, MN – eerily close to the hospital that had saved his life years prior. This moment highlights that Chris’ story is a story of perseverance. 

Pushing Through the Pain 

On race day, Chris started strong but soon found the later miles challenging, both physically and mentally. Still, he dug deep to keep pushing through the pain. Mile by mile he edged closer to the ambitious time he needed to have a shot at qualifying for Boston based on his age group. As the finish line finally came into view, Chris mustered up one last surge of effort, raising his arms as he crossed the line in 3:16:56 – fast enough to qualify. Chris crossed the finished line, playing his favorite running song, “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler. 

How Far He Had Come 

Joy washed over him at the realization of how far he had come since almost losing his life to now chasing his dream. Although a recent change in Boston’s qualifying times has forced Chris to keep chasing that goal at his next marathon, his extraordinary journey continues to inspire others facing daunting setbacks. 

Already a Winner

By sharing his wisdom and living purposefully in each new day through his speaking and his book From Survivor to Striver, Chris aims to encourage people to make the most of any situation life puts them through. His dream is still to experience the thrill of toeing the line at the Boston Marathon. No matter the end result, to those who know his story, Chris is already a winner. Chris continues to be a story of perseverance that is a shining example to others. 

Up Next

Chris will toe the line at the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon on May 4th (while wearing a Star Wars shirt), aiming for a time that will unequivocally qualify him for Boston in 2025. Stay tuned for the next chapter in Chris’ story as we focus on his training, his race, and moving forward from the event. 
Chris' story is a story of perseverance.
Chris is sleeping in the bed. He is a story of perseverance.
Aum Gandhi Run Tri Bike Magazine Co-Owner

Aum Gandhi is a social media manager, content writer, and co-owner of Run Tri Bike. An active ultrarunner, Aum has a palpable love for the sport and the trail community. His purpose in all his professional and personal activities is to inspire others by leaving a positive impact. Aum maintains a personal blog on his website in which he shares both his running exploits and features of energizing endurance athletes to all audiences. In his free time, you’d probably catch Aum reading, crewing at races, playing video games, out on the trails, or watching NBA Basketball.