DENVER (CBS4) – Over 15,000 runners hit the pavement across Denver for the Fourth Annual Sports Authority Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, but none were quite like Gavin Maitland.
In 2008 Maitland underwent an organ transplant for both of his lungs. On Sunday morning he ran for Team Transplant, and finished with a 4 hour, 41 minute time in the half marathon.
“I’m five and a half years out from my transplant and to be able to breathe and even walk around, and not to mention running, it makes me feel fantastic,” said Maitland.
No one knows exactly why Maitland’s lungs originally failed in 2008, but he’s not dwelling on the past. He now works on spreading the word about organ transplants and keeping an active lifestyle.
His 12-year-old daughter Riley is right there by his side, and she even ran the race with him.
“We started together,” said Maitland. “But after about mile three or four, she left me in the dust.”
Statistics say the average survival rate for a lung transplant patient is five years, and Maitland sees every breath he takes as a second chance.
“I’m very happy to be here, happy to be breathing,” declared Maitland.
Other local runners took the spotlight at the Sports Authority Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon as Coloradans won all four races at the event. Denver resident Tommy Dialynas won the men’s overall marathon with a time of 2:27:39, while Englewood resident Nicole Chyr won the women’s overall marathon with a time of 2:51:08.
Locals Jeremy Freed and five-time Olympian Lidia Simon won the men’s and women’s half marathons as well.