Isadore Boni: An Apache AIDS survivor completes first marathon

Isadore Boni after completing the marathon. Photo from Facebook

Isadore Boni, a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona, shares his experience from his first marathon:
In 2010, I completed my first half marathon, followed by four more. My HIV numbers greatly improved, my body “cured” itself of Hepatitis C, and the thought of running a full marathon came to mind. Could I?

I started looking for other HIV positive Natives who ran, but to no avail. I’m sure there are others who completed a marathon, but none who were “public” like I am. In June 2014, I decided to train for my first full marathon of twenty-six point two miles. I knew it would be difficult.

I got out my shoes I bought at Goodwill, which got me through the past five half marathons and started leg work by hiking. In June, I tripped pretty hard at Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, which resulted with a broken toe. My doctor said “no running for four weeks.” With only a few months before the run, I began having second thoughts of running my first marathon, but immediately it was healed I started up again.

Training was going smoothly until I started having coughing spells, and I had difficulty breathing, which I thought was a cold. I knew it was pneumonia, something very common among people with HIV/AIDS. Should I take a chance by still running? Once I regained the strength, I was once again running around Tempe Town Lake and climbing Camelback Mountain. I never listened to music when I trained; I had my thoughts on friends living with this virus and those who passed on. I also prayed to myself, which gave me strength each day to keep going. There was no stopping me now.

Get the Story:
Isadore Boni: Native AIDS Survivor, Activist Runs Marathon: ‘We CAN Run Marathons too’ (Indian Country Today 1/23)

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