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Life-altering conditions couldn’t stop him from running a marathon and he says anything is possible

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IDAHO FALLS – Competing in the Teton Dam Marathon is proof to Austin Monteiro that he’s able to push the boundary of his physical limitations.

The 24-year-old Malad resident ran the entire 26.2 miles, despite being diagnosed with Left Frontal Cystic Gliosis.

Monteiro tells he was born with a cyst on his brain and later experienced something similar to a stroke, which left behind some life-altering side effects.

“It affects my motor skills and the entire right side of my body. My right leg is a little bit shorter than my left one and in my right arm, I don’t really have all the fine-tuned motor skills that you have,” Monteiro says.

Being able to hold onto things and perform basic movements have always been a struggle for him.

But Monteiro didn’t let that stop him from living a normal life. He’s worked consistently to have a good quality of life and he remains as physically active as he can.

Monteiro participated in sports as a kid, playing for his school’s basketball, football and baseball teams.

Physical fitness is one of his passions to this day and he saw the Teton Dam Marathon as an opportunity to challenge himself.

“The fact that it’s so hard and is a challenge and the fact that I wasn’t supposed to do these things (is why I wanted to do it),” Monteiro explains. “I can’t express how grateful I am to be able to do it (and show others that anything is possible).”

Some things outside of his control prevented him from training for the event as much as he would’ve liked, but all things considered, he’s pleased with the outcome.

He completed the race in 4 hours, 56 minutes, which put him at No. 43 out of 73 runners. He placed 34th out of 51 male runners and sixth out of 10 in his age bracket.

“It was great to run my first marathon (and actually finish it),” he says. “I take it as a benchmark … but I’m 100% looking to improve (in the future).”

RELATED | Man on a journey to complete a marathon in every state, to finish in Idaho

Another participant in the Teton Dam Marathon was Frank Fumich of McLean, Virginia. This race completed his journey of running a marathon in all 50 states.

Fumich’s running career has allowed him to raise money for causes that are important to him. Monteiro was inspired by Fumich’s efforts and at one point, they were able to meet.

Monteiro says Fumich gave him some advice that was empowering.

frank and austin
Monteiro, right, poses for a photo with Frank Fumich. | Austin Monteiro

“He talked about living your truth and being unapologetically who you are. He said to make sure the causes are near and dear to your heart. It’s easier to relate with other people when … they’re close to you,” Monteiro says.

Monteiro wants to continue to “push the limits” of his capabilities. His next goal is to run the Moab 240, which follows 238 miles of the Colorado River in Utah.

As he moves forward, he’s grateful for the people who believe in him and inspire him to be better every day.

“I try to squeeze every part of my life … into being the best version of myself and show others that they can do it, too,” he says.