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Josh Holley to the World Marathon Majors!

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As many of you know, Josh "Flash" Holley has dazzled our hometown of Columbus and the state of Indiana with his ability to run REALLY fast despite multiple physical and developmental setbacks throughout his lifetime. Friends of Josh may know that he is Autistic, but what most don’t know is that he has also experienced some pretty significant challenges growing up. Physically, Josh was given his 1st set of leg braces at the ripe age of 14 months. By the age of 13, he received his 18th operation, this time removing a mass from both his heart and lungs and was diagnosed with asthma. This may not sound like the childhood of a thriving runner, but despite any physical or mental setback, Josh has ALWAYS persevered. He has taken every obstacle as an opportunity to prove that the only limits we have are those we put on ourselves. He has continued to challenge the status quo, succeeded, and inspired everyone along the way… which leads us here.

Josh’s love for running has turned into something much bigger. After qualifying for and competing in the Boston Marathon last year, Josh was invited to participate in the Abbott World Marathon Majors: Six Star Challenge. This would mean that Josh would run all six world marathons (Boston, Chicago, New York City, London, Berlin, and Tokyo) and earn the Six Star medal. As of December 2022, only 429 people have completed the challenge. ZERO of these has been a qualifying member of the Special Olympics and the youngest to complete it was 27 years old, which has inspired Josh’s new goal of breaking two more records.


Josh, at just 24 years old, has already completed the Boston and Chicago world marathons in 2022. In Chicago, he was the first Special Olympic athlete to run the course in under 3 hours. Next up is the New York City marathon in November of this year. And while he could apply for an honorary entry for his disabilities, he has earned each admission into these races by beating the qualifying standard of those without disabilities.

As you can probably imagine, traveling to and competing in these races can get pretty expensive. Josh and his team of guide runners have self-funded their efforts for the first two races, but with the remaining race destinations getting further and travel prices rapidly increasing – we want to help take the burden of finances off Josh (and his support team) so he can focus on training and living out his dream of becoming the first Special Olympic athlete and youngest runner to achieve the Six Star Challenge.

A stranger may look at Josh and not physically "see" a disability, but to know him and see what he has been able to accomplish is a story that we hope to continue sharing to encourage others to live the same mindset. Running is simply the vessel Josh uses to spread awareness for those whose disabilities are not outwardly visible. The message he sends while running is really the dream. His mission is to inspire all (challenged or not, apparent or non-apparent) and remind them that “Our Ability is STRONGER than our dis-Ability.”

Estimated cost for the New York City marathon includes, but is not limited to: race entry fees ($250), transportation/flights ($1500), AirBnB lodging ($3500), per diem meals ($2,000), disability race accommodations ($100), misc. ($500)

Fundraising dollars will be limited to Josh & his support/travel team for race necessities only: Josh Holley, Mother – Deana Holley, Coach – Andy Hunnicutt, Guide Runners – Malachi Henry & Kasey Coleman

Permission from Josh and his team to fundraise on their behalf has been granted.
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Donations 

  • Robert Kobek
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Ursula Conley
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Judy Kenninger
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • Tara Dew, Breckenridge Grand Vacations
    • $1,500 
    • 6 mos
  • Jennifer Riddle
    • $25 
    • 6 mos
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Organizer

Ursula Conley
Organizer
Columbus, IN

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