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Local man refuses to let medical issues hinder passion for running, participating in ultramarathon

Jay Osborne
Posted at 4:02 PM, Feb 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-27 21:03:48-05

PAINESVILLE, Ohio — Jay Osborne has been a runner for years.

“It’s just something to let your mind roll,” he said.

Pounding the pavement and marking off mile after mile while using the time alone for reflection about his journey.

"It’s just kind of a stress reliever for me,” Osborne said.

Osborne was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 25 years old. He battled the disease for several years before he underwent surgery. The procedure left him with a colostomy bag, but that didn’t stop him from his love of running.

"When I‘m on the trail and I'm thinking “okay, can I do this one last mile?'" Osborne said. "I just think back to the time and say, ‘you remember the time when you were diagnosed with Crohn's and you were barely able to walk, barely move around.’ This is no problem; I’m pounding this out."

His most recent medical setback let him with a pacemaker and defibrillator after he collapsed and suffered a stroke. In just nine months, he was back at the starting line. With six marathons under his belt, he was looking for a new challenge.

“Nothing should ever let anyone down. Any physical ailment should never let anyone down,” said his cardiologist Dr. Maria Mountis. “This gentleman still has chronic heart failure. And he runs how many miles?”

That challenge ended up being his first 50K ultramarathon.

“I think I surprised her [Mountis] by doing a 50K right off the jump,” Osborne said.

Saturday morning, Osborne embarked on his second 50K while running the Olde Girdled Grit Trail Run.

“Every time you’re having a bad day, or you think ‘gosh I can’t do this,’” Mountis said. “You look at someone like him who’s been through so many different things, it’s really impressive.”

Running can often inflict its own fair share of pain on the body. But Osborne says it’s nothing compared to what he’s endured through his medical setbacks.

“I’ll be crossing the finish line in pain, but with a big smile on my face,” Osborne said.