Alex Schneider of Great Neck was the overall winner at the Inaugural 5 Mile Run for the ELIJA School on June 12.
Schneider, who has severe autism, crossed the finish line in 32 minutes and 42 seconds, an average 6:32 pace.
The course was scenic and very challenging, fraught with miles of steep, rolling hills through the streets of Huntington. With temperatures in the high 80s, Schneider started out in 12th place and slowly inched his way to the finish, passing each runner one by one while maintaining his pace, even heading up hills, a feat his running coach marvels at.
Schneider and his twin brother, Jamie, have been running for the past 10 years, and have racked up 23 marathons between them.
The book, Silent Running: Our Family’s Journey to the Finish Line with Autism, written by their mom, Robyn K. Schneider, chronicles their story of how running became their passion, and how it brought hope and inspiration to their family.
“Alex is unaware of what it means to win a race, but he certainly enjoyed the attention as he broke the tape crossing the finish line,” said the runner’s mom. “Congratulations to ELIJA founder and executive director Debra Thivierge and associate executive director Randy Horowitz for a putting on such a successful event.”