PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One Portland man has turned his frustration with dyslexia into a passion for running marathons.
Jared Blank leaves Wednesday to take part in the World Marathon Challenge. He will run 7 marathons in 7 consecutive days on all 7 continents.
The first leg of the World Marathon Challenge starts a week from Tuesday — Jan. 30 — in Novo, Antarctica. Blank will run 26.2 miles in temperatures expected to be about 14 degrees.
In addition to being an accomplished runner, Blank is dyslexic. While he’s earned a college degree and an MBA, he’s had a tougher time learning than a lot of people. But he suspects that extra toughness has helped his running.
“I always felt worse for people watching me struggle than I did myself to be real with you, but I believe it did give me resiliency — that’s probably the gift that I got from dyslexia,” Blank said.
From Antarctica, Blank will run marathons in South Africa, Australia, Dubai, Portugal and then a final run on South America’s Caribbean coast.
In all, Blank will run 183 miles in about 168 hours.
A total of 55 people from around the world will begin the chartered jetliner tour from Cape Town, South Africa next week.
While Blank is a skilled runner, he’s also a great example of a man who hasn’t let a learning disability stand in the way of anything.
“Dyslexia doesn’t affect intelligence,” Blank said. “And I think that’s really important that kids who are dealing with struggles early on — it doesn’t mean they can’t be really successful later on in life and I think that’s really the light that I’m trying to shine on this deal.”