He endured many trials and tribulations in his early life, but overcame them all through his desire to be a world-class athlete. The car accident resulted in 21 broken bones, a collapsed lung and a paralyzed right arm. Shortly after his recovery and while he was still learning to cope with his challenges, his father and sole guardian died at the age of 39.
Lester continued to adjust to his new reality and by the age of 16, he was competing in running events and biathlons. At the age of 18 and still without the use of his right arm, Lester was ranked #2 in Arizona in biathlon events.
In 2009, at the age of 35, Lester was named the ESPY award winner for "Best Male Athlete with a Disability" and the first male triathlete to win such an honor. He was also the first disabled athlete to compete in the Ultraman triathlon. In November 2011, he became the first male athlete to run 316 miles non-stop from Las Vegas to Mt. Whitney over six days. Later in 2011, Lester ran and biked 5,000 miles across the United States in 102 days. His endurance is amazing and is only surpassed by his will to finish the race.
In addition to numerous championships, Lester founded the NEVER STOP Foundation, which is dedicated to using athletics as a means to get full potential out of youth through athletics. The Foundation’s goal is to help young people find their own voice and build confidence through values learned in sports: discipline, trust, compassion, self-reliance and respect.
He’s also the author of Running on Faith: The Principles, Passion and Pursuit of a Winning Life. This autobiography chronicles his rise to fame and how he conquered his physical impairment to keep moving forward. He cites his faith in God as a major component to his success and ability to overcome his tragedy. To sum up his message, he wrote: “If you don’t stop, you can’t be stopped.”
To learn more about Jason Lester, please visit his website: www.jasonplester.com.