Half-Marathon Runner With Cerebral Palsy Set to Start San Diego Race at 3AM

Jamie Watts refuses to let cerebral palsy slow her down

Before most Rock 'n' Roll San Diego runners even wake up Sunday morning, Jamie Watts will already be on the course heading towards the finish line.

Watts is the first runner of Sunday's half-marathon, set to leave the starting line at 3 a.m. She has cerebral palsy, which makes routine tasks more like routine challenges.

But, with the help of friends who accompany her along the course, 13.1 miles is well within reach.

It just takes her a little longer.

While typical runners average right around a 10-minute mile, Watts clocks in closer to 30 minutes per mile, which is why she starts so early.

Watts says the roads aren't always closed at the beginning of her race, so she often runs on a "parallel path" using sidewalks next to the road until the course is completely blocked off.

While she has already completed more than 100 races, mostly 5Ks, this will be just her third half-marathon.

She is aiming for a finish time between seven and eight hours -- "hopefully closer to seven," she says.

Watts started training for races primarily just to stay healthy but says if the inspires others with disabilities to try new things it's a wonderful added bonus.

"If what I do changes the way that one person thinks about what it's like to live with a disability, or interact with someone living with a disability, that's a fantastic thing," she said.

On your marks.

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