Jason P. Lester

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Lester hits mile 2,400 on day 50 of Journey for a Better World

Jason P. Lester (born 1974, Arizona) is an endurance athlete and the 2009 ESPY Award winner for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.[1] He is also the first disabled athlete to complete the Ultraman World Championships.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lester grew up playing baseball and football. When he was twelve years old, he was hit while on his bicycle by a woman driving 70 mph who ran a red light. He was left for dead with 21 broken bones and a collapsed lung. Lester lost the use of his right arm, which became partially paralyzed as a result of the accident. During the next several months he began a lengthy hospital recovery. While he was still in the hospital recovering, his father, and sole guardian, died of a heart attack.[3] Twelve months after the accident, he went on to continue to play baseball and football, making the all star game with the use of only one arm. Lester continued to play sports throughout high school and college. He began to compete in running and biathlon races at age 16 and by age 18 was ranked #2 for biathlons in the state of Arizona.


In 2004, Lester competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona. To get ready for the event he trained extensively and hired a coach to teach him how to swim. During his training Lester began to notice that he was slowly regaining movement in his right arm.

In 2008, Lester became the first disabled athlete to complete the Ultraman World Championships.[2] In June 2009, at Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, Lester came in 3rd in his age group, which qualified him to compete in the Ironman World Championships later that year. That same summer, in July 2009, Lester became the first male triathlete to win an ESPY Award.[1] In August 2009, Lester became the 25th person to complete both Ultraman Canada and Ultraman Hawaii out of 428 total competitors. In November 2009, Lester became the 15th athlete in the history of Ultraman to complete both Hawaii and Canada in the same year.

On March 19, 2012, Lester ran and biked over 4,800 miles across the United States promoting the benefit of sport.[4]

On May 5, 2013, Lester made a 3,500-mile transcontinental run across America in 72 days. The run was a collaborative service project with Waves For Water. Waves For Water is an active presence and force for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative, which supports neighborhoods and communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy.[5]

The NEVER STOP Foundation[edit]

In 2007, Lester founded the Never Stop Foundation.[6] The Foundation aims to use athletics to teach its young participants how to think creatively about their lives - then give them the practical skills to turn their dreams into reality.

Lester is active in the development of the Never Stop Performance Center (NSPC) based in his home town of Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i. The center, set to break ground in 2011, will be a place where both children and adults will receive a chance to improve their lives through athletics, helping to build a strong life mentally, physically, and spiritually, further enabling them to reach their full potential.

Racing and endurance highlights[edit]

  • Ran 3,550 miles Across the United States in 72 consecutive days. Lester became the 4th fastest runner to run from San Francisco City Hall to New York City Hall (The official USA Crosser's route) 2013[7]
  • Ran 110 miles in 24 hours on a treadmill in 2013[8]
  • Set the course record at Squaw Peak Mountain, Summit 15x in 13 hours, 2014
  • Completed three consecutive iron distance triathlons in 52 hours, 2012[9]
  • Ran 26 Marathons in 26 consecutive days, 2012[10]
  • Ran 230 miles around the Big Island of Hawaii in 5 days, 2012
  • EPIC100 Ultra-marathon - 100 mile run, Sea level to the Top of Mauna Kea Mountain (32hrs), 2012
  • Ran and biked 4,800 miles from Manhattan, NY to Portland, OR, 16 States - 102 days, 2012[11]
  • Ran 316 miles from Las Vegas to Mt. Whitney, 2011 (1st male athlete to complete)[12]
  • EPIC5- 5 Iron Distance Triathlons | 5 Hawaiian Islands, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • ESPY Award Winner - Best Male Athlete with a Disability, 2009[1]
  • Ultraman Canada, 2008 (4th place overall in the run,[13] 2009 (14th place overall)[14]
  • Ultraman Hawaii World Championships, 2008 (24th overall),[15] 2009 (18th overall),[16] 2010
  • Ironman World Championship, 2008, 2009
  • Ironman Arizona, 2007, 2008
  • Ironman Western Australia, 2007
  • 70.3 Honolulu, 2009 (3rd in age group, and qualified for Ironman World Championships), 2010
  • 70.3 Boise, 2009
  • Ultramarathon – Hilo to Volcano, 2008 (9th place overall)
  • UItramarathon – Western States 100, 2009 (pacer)
  • UItramarathon – Badwater Ultramarathon 135, 2011 (pacer)
  • ITU Triathlon World Championships, 2007 (6th place), 2008 (2nd in category)
  • International Triathlon San Diego, 2007
  • The Nautica New York City Triathlon, 2007 (2nd in category)
  • Duathlon – Pac Crest Endurance, 2008 (3rd in age group)[17]
  • USAT (USA Triathlon) PC Athlete of the Year, 2008
  • USAT (USA Triathlon) PC Athlete of the Year Finalist, 2007
  • Scottsdale Duathlon, 2005, (1st in age group,[18] 2nd overall[19])


  1. ^ a b c Carlson, Timothy (July 16, 2013). "Jason Lester ESPY upset winner". NowPublic.com. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Lester, Jason; Vandehey, Tim (2010). Running on Faith: The Principles, Passion, and Pursuit of a Winning Life. ISBN 978-0-06-196572-2. 
  3. ^ Henry, Dawn (23 July 2009). "Jason Lester Wins ESPY Award". Ironman.com. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "48,000 miles. Infinite inspiration". Nike.com. September 6, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Run to Rebuild". Waves for Water. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ "History". Never Stop Foundation. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  7. ^ http://r-u-n.us
  8. ^ http://www.jasonplester.com/24hr_Run_For_Cancer
  9. ^ http://3picman.com
  10. ^ http://26x26.info
  11. ^ Miller, Mark (May 2, 2012). "Nike's Forest Gump:Ironman Jason Lester Crosses America for Nike". Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  12. ^ "H2ope". 
  13. ^ "Ultraman Canada History - 2008 Records and Results". Ultraman Canada. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Ultraman Canada History - 2009 Records and Results". Ultraman Canada. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "2008 Results Page". Ultraman World Championships. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "2009 Results Page". Ultraman World Championships. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  17. ^ "Online Results - Pacific Crest Endurance Duathlon". AA Sports Limited. 7 July 2008. 
  18. ^ "Scottsdale Duathlon/Triathlon - Age Group". TriFamily Racing. 
  19. ^ "Scottsdale Duathlon/Triathlon - Overall". TriFamily Racing. 

External links[edit]