Paralyzed Man Becomes First to Complete Half-Marathon in Exo-Skeleton

Adam Golitsky completed the Portlandathon in less than 20 hours.

Nothing was going to stop this man from doing a half-marathon, not even paralysis.

Adam Golitsky has become the first paralyzed man in the United States to finish a half-marathon using an exo-skeleton after participating in the Portlandathon Sunday.

"The half-marathon was an incredible experience," Golitsky told "Definitely the hardest thing I've ever done physically. Definitely became a much better walker because of it too." 

While it typically takes able-bodied runners a few hours to compete a half-marathon, Adam took nearly 20 hours to complete the 13.1-mile race. Race officials allowed him to start the day before the actual event to help him reach his goal.

"The motor in my hip broke at mile eight, which took about an hour and 15 minutes to fix, so I could have finished sooner," he explained. "Prior to this, the longest that I’ve ever walked in one consecutive race is 6.2 miles — this [was] double that.”

His dad accompanied him each step of the way, changing the batteries to his exo-skeleton as Golitsky kept his eye on the prize.

“I'm sure I get on his nerves a little bit, but to have my dad with me is incredible," Golitsky said.

He explained he was paralyzed from the waist down after a 2005 car accident. He was driving home from college when he fell asleep at the wheel.

"Doctors said I’ll never walk again," Golitsky said.

He had been paralyzed for more than a decade until three years ago, when doctors suggested he try out their exo-skeleton program during a checkup of his spinal cord.

The moment he put the suit on and stood up, Golitsky said he was ready to begin training for sports again.

“Because of my injury, I can’t feel my legs, so during a race I have to be super concentrated, super focused with every step,” he explained.

The half-marathon is part of his One Million Steps tour, where his goal is to complete one million steps in road races throughout the country.

"When I reflect back, [I want to say], 'Damn, that was freaking awesome,'" he said.