Faces of the Race: Beta Xi alumnus Jacob Comfort and Rick

Anna Carrera

They were inspired by Team Hoyt, which is another racing duo. The father-son team has done upwards of a thousand races together, with the son in a wheelchair and dad pushing him along. The men in this week’s story aren’t related. But they know each other so well, they can basically finish each other’s sentences.

Jacob and Rick first met about two years ago at their church.

“I don’t know if there’s anyone who doesn’t really get along with Rick,” said Jacob.

By then, Jacob was already an avid runner. Rick is not.

“He uses this [a binder] to kind of spell things out,” said Jacob. “CP is for cerebral palsy. As you can tell it affects his voice and coordination.”

But it doesn’t affect his heart or his love for life. A few months ago, Jacob got an idea. He wanted to run a full marathon, but not by himself.

“I asked Rick, I was like, ‘do you want to do this?’ And he freaked out,” said Jacob. “He was pretty excited.”

Even though Rick has a tough time getting around, he was up for the challenge with a little help from his friend. So now they plan to start and finish the Illinois Marathon together.

Jacob says he’s had his share of running injuries, but now he has no excuses.

“If I don’t run, he doesn’t get to finish,” said Jacob. “So it’s kind of like, wow. This is, the weight is different. It’s a good weight. It’s a good encouragement.”

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