Metro dad talks about running OKC Memorial half marathon with son in push chair

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City father is planning to run in the Memorial Marathon this weekend while racing with his son in a push chair.

Erik Heine's son, Stephen, has a rare disorder called Rubinstein Taybi, which affects his development and motor skills.

Fortunately, this duo has found a way to communicate and bond over running.

Every Saturday, they train.

"Stephen gets in his chair, and we go for a run, and it lasts for however long he wants it to last," Erik said.

The have a communication system down, interacting using sign language and an iPad.

"This is the sign for 'all done' so, sometimes, I'll see two arms come out of the side of the chair, and I'll see this," Heine said.

Some days, they run four miles; other days, eleven.

When Stephen is feeling extra motivated, on his iPad, he will choose to watch sports programs that have a deeper meaning, to keep going.

"It will essentially sort of cheer me on, and there's one little passage where it will say 'go, go, go!' So, it's time to keep going, no stopping there," Heine said.

Their goal is to finish the Oklahoma City Half Marathon in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

A 13.1 mile run to pay tribute to the 168 victims of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building bombing 21 years ago.

"I still remember that when I was 19 years old, and I think it's important that we not forget that domestic act of terrorism," Heine said.

The run is a way to honor the victims and give Stephen a chance to run, when he physically isn't able to right now.

"I'm the same as any other parent. I'm just trying to help my child have the best experience that he can," Heine said.

Stephen and his dad will be starting the race Sunday with the wheelchair racers.

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