RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician University assistant women's and men's cross-country coach Brian Reynolds of Clifton set the official bilateral below-the-knee amputee world marathon record at the Chicago Marathon on October 8, according to A Step Ahead Prosthetics.
Reynolds, 29, entered Chicago with a goal of three hours, 20 minutes. Instead, he crossed the finish line in a record time of 3:06:31.
Reynolds contracted meningococcemia, a bacterial infection, at the age of four, and lost both of his legs below the knee. He was fitted for prosthetics, and his parents made sure he was involved in sports, he recently told Elliptigo.com. He started with baseball, basketball, and wheelchair racing, and in high school, took up powerlifting. He has been a distance runner for about four years.
"Brian has shown our young men and women that adversity is just a word and goals are only daunting if you let them be," said Felician third-year head cross-country and track & field coach Rob DeCarlo Jr. "He had a goal of running an eye-opening performance at Chicago. Training for a marathon – on prosthetics that required nearly constant maintenance AND caused physical pain, emotional stress, and did not always allow for his training to be optimal – proved to be a testament to his perseverance."
Reynolds is a 2010 graduate of Saint Anselm College, where he founded the powerlifting team. He is a candidate for an MPH and MPA at Benedictine University. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, he worked as a wound care assistant at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Reynolds recently completed his first season working with DeCarlo and fellow assistant Brian Taylor at Felician. The Golden Falcon men finished seventh and the women 13th at the 2017 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship race.
"It's been exciting to work with an enthusiastic and passionate runner such as Brian," DeCarlo said. "He is often up until midnight doing his graduate work – after spending time with his wife and putting his two children to bed – and is still the first person to our 6 a.m. practices. He has displayed to our student-athletes that we as humans are capable of much more than we think we are, and that the only limits they will ever face in this sport are the ones they put on themselves."
Felician is a member of NCAA Division II.
More information about Reynolds is available on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Brian-Reynolds-714840155344941/.
Felician University, the Franciscan University of New Jersey, is a liberal arts, coeducational Catholic university founded in 1942 and sponsored by the Felician Sisters. True to its mission, Felician University welcomes a diverse student population and embraces its educational needs. With campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey, Felician University currently enrolls more than 2,100 students and offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, in the classroom and online, in the arts and sciences, business and management sciences, health sciences and teacher education. Felician University also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level.