Saturday runners from both in and out of the state met in Bismarck for the annual Kroll's Diner Bismarck Marathon. Runners had the chance to run the full 26-point-two mile race, a half marathon, a five-K, or a relay team race.
This year there's one young runner, who is beating the odds and inspiring others.
It was crisp-cool at six-thirty Saturday morning as runners amped up and strapped their shoelaces for the miles they were about to stride. Whether they were running the full 26-point-two or sticking with the five K, this morning was go-time for those who have spent countless hours preparing for the race. Jake Frank, an eleven year old kid from Hazen, was one of them.
"I never thought I'd be in this situation right now, I never thought I'd probably try to run any amount of miles," said Jake Frank, a runner.
"Got Legs? is a rhetorical question if you're running a race, right? That's the question on the back of Jake's shirt ... he's got'em and knows how to use them ... even if they're not traditional.
"You usually don't see this. When you walk into a grocery store, or if you're walking around on the street, you don't usually look down and see the person has no legs," said Frank.
Jake was born without tibia bones in his legs and at nine months old had his legs amputated. But with the help of modern science and technology, he didn't need them anyway. Today's proof ... he was the anchor for Team Jakenator on the last leg of the marathon ... finishing the final six and a half miles. Jake says he does it more for just himself.
"For others to see what I'm doing out here, if they're challenged or if they have a disability they can do it too," said Jake.
He invigorates others. "You inspire me by doing that. Thank you," said one runner.
"Honestly it's what he offers to others as far as inspiration and hope, and you might be sitting there with an achy back or an achy leg and feel bad, and then you see this kid go four miles or however many miles without any legs, and you're like, I probably can," said Julie Frank, Jake's mother.
It's mind over matter and taking what you have and making it work. That's been the story of Jake's life ... and a motto that has made him accomplish things that otherwise wouldn't be possible. He says it's another "I did it."
"When I get to the finish line, I can sit down," said Jake. But he won't sit down for long.