Damian Kevitt was riding his bike through Griffith Park when, two years ago, he lost his leg in a hit-and-run crash. Now, after organizing a charity ride and advocating for changes to California's hit-and-run laws, Damian plans to turn a lifelong goal into reality: running in the Los Angeles Marathon.
Kevitt went on a warm-up run this week and talked with KPCC's Sharon McNary about how he's prepared for the marathon.
Kevitt didn't do much running before the crash — he bicycled, mostly. "It was purely a decision to do the marathon after my accident. The second day," says Kevitt. After he learned he'd lose most of his right leg, but keep his left, Kevitt says he vowed to run the marathon.
How do you prepare for a marathon when you're missing part of your leg? Pretty much the same way anyone else would: lots of running, though he sometimes prefers to train on an elliptical midweek. Even though Damian lost his right leg, his left ankle was badly hurt in the crash, too. He says he tries to avoid putting too much stress on it.
Kevitt acknowledges that running with a prosthetic leg will slow him down some — during long runs he'll have to take his prosthetic off occasionally to drain the sweat — but his main goal is to finish. "I'm not to do a speed race," he says. "I don't care if I lose 30 seconds or a minute."
Damian hopes that by competing in the L.A. Marathon he'll raise awareness for his campaign to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Damian Kevitt by the wrong name in one instance. KPCC regrets the error.