For 26.2 long miles, Jay Pisano propels his wheelchair backward with only his left foot. Born with cerebral palsy, Pisano’s 38-year-old body has been ravaged; coordinated movement is nearly impossible. His quest however, is not limited by the flesh, but driven by spirit. Pisano’s goal is to complete not one, but 51 marathons. After 16 years of racing, Pisano competes in the Cox Sports Marathon, in Providence, R.I., his 49th. This one is special for Pisano: It may be his final race before a hometown crowd. He crosses the finish line to the cheers of spectators, music, and even an announcer. When asked why he runs marathons, he often gave the simple answer, "because I can." But, with age, his reasons go far deeper: “I race to raise money for charity, I race for my own enjoyment, but most of all I race to inspire." 

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