Last updated: August 24. 2013 12:09PM - 106 Views

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The Lima News

Craig Leon serves as an example of how passion, heart and desire can lead a person to great accomplishments.

Leon is a 2003 graduate of Van Wert High School who finished 10th among the 26,000 runners competing in last week’s Boston Marathon, and third among all U.S. runners.

What makes his story especially interesting is his road to succes.

Leon was a decent runner in high school cross country and track but not the kind that turned the heads of coaches. His senior year, however, provided a glimpse of the possible success that was to come when he managed to qualify for state in both sports.

Graduation marks the end of competition for many runners, but Craig Leon wasn’t “any” runner. The word “quitting” wasn’t in his vocabulary.

After high school, Leon walked on to Ohio University, where he took his training to the next level and became one of the best distance runners in the Mid-American Conference.

He continued to work hard after college and eventually became an Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon. On January 14, 2012, Leon competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where he finished 26th overall in 2:15.42.

On Monday, the 28-year-old Leon covered the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon course in 2:14.38, which was a personal-best by a minute.

It is a shame that the Boston Marathon bombing overshadowed his accomplishment, but we’re sure more success will come his way.

For nearly a decade, Leon has proven that if you set your mind to something and work hard, that anything is possible. He truly is an inspirational athlete.

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