LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles man is training to run the Boston Marathon backwards in memory of his brother.
“And when I say, ‘backwards’, I mean literally turned around,” he said.
The 26.2-mile race will be Loren Zitomersky’s eighth marathon. He’s doing it in memory of the older brother he never got the chance to meet.
“Brian passed away before I was born, in 1977,” he explained. Brian was only seven. “He went into status epilepticus, which is nonstop seizures, in his sleep,” Zitomersky said.
Ever since that day, the family vowed to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation. When Zitomersky was only 12, he raised funds through his first long-distance bike ride to San Francisco. He did 10 rides with his dad, including one from L.A. all the way to D.C.
And he’s going extra big in Boston by attempting to beat a record set in 2004 for the fastest backward marathon run.
“It’s funny,” he said. “I actually started telling people I was gonna try to break this world record before I had even run backwards.”
His first time running in reverse was eight months ago and he’s had his share of injuries in that time.
“I’ve injured my foot, I’ve injured my ankle, I’ve injured my calf, I’ve fallen twice,” he said.
Zitomersky, also known as “backwards guy,” will have help in Boston, however. On race day, he’ll have a spotter right next to him. He’ll be running backwards and the spotter will be the eyes.
Zitomersky admits he’s considered quitting “a few times.” But he says he could never turn his back on raising funds for this cause. Plus he says his temporary struggle is nothing compared to those affected by epilepsy.
“Their struggle persists, and that’s really what motivates me,” he said.