Aided by a walker, Shamus Evans dipped his toes in the Pacific Ocean near Seattle.

Seconds later, his father, Shaun, transferred Shamus, an 11-year-old with cerebral palsy, to his runner chair.

The duo — who crossed the Louisiana Marathon’s quarter-marathon finish line first Saturday in 41 minutes, 5 seconds — then departed for a 60-day, 3,200-mile journey for New York two summers ago.

Shaun ran it, pushing Shamus’ speedy racing wheelchair 54 miles a day from July 4 to Sept. 1, 2015.

The first-place duo out of 544 quarter-marathon racers Saturday had been training partners since Shaun would strap Shamus in a jogging stroller when he was an infant. That's how the duo came in contact with Ainsley’s Angels, an awareness-raising endurance event group for those with special needs.

“Shamus has always been my training partner,” Shaun said. “As he got bigger, we needed a bigger chair, so we reached out to Ainsley’s Angels.”

Shaun, once an aspiring Olympic marathon trials qualifying hopeful, brought Shamus to dunk his toes in the Atlantic Ocean in Evans’ home state of New York after their sea-to-sea journey.

“Lending my legs to him for a day, and it’s so much more rewarding than it was when I was running for myself,” the 39-year-old father said Saturday while celebrating beside Shamus near a large contingent of Ainsley’s Angels participants who ran in Saturday’s races. “We have a great time doing it. Just to see his smile, and to see how he feels out there, having the opportunity to participate in something he’d otherwise not have the opportunity to do — that’s what it’s all about.”

The tag team used the nationwide run as a mission to donate running wheelchairs via Ainsley’s Angels.

“Just promoting inclusion and active lifestyles for kids with disabilities, that’s what it’s all about,” Shaun said.

On Saturday, Shaun and Shamus were decked in pink — the signature color of Ainsley’s Angels. Shamus, the rider, bested Shaun, the pusher, to the finish line first.

Shamus always finishes first. And that's the best part, Shaun said.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.

Soon, the Evanses will run essentially the length of the Mississippi River, beginning July 1 in Moorhead, Minnesota. They plan to finish their 1,700-mile journey in 28 days, finishing in the birthplace of Ainsley’s Angels: Lake Charles.

The pair will both run in Sunday’s half marathon. Shamus, though, will be competing against Shaun; Shamus will be pushed by a friend, who is 12.

Saturday’s top finisher of 1,614 runners in the 5K was Keith Kotar, a professional triathlete from Fort Worth, Texas, who was seconds short of setting a personal record.

“I was at about the 3-mile mark; didn’t think I was going to make it. I guess I was going faster than I thought,” he joked.

Kotar’s personal best is 15:49. His official time was 16:01 — more than a minute faster than the race’s second-quickest runner.

Baton Rouge's Rebecca Little was the top women's finisher in 18:53.

5K top finishers


1. Keith Kotar (26), Benbrook, Texas; 16:01

2. Felipe Pelaez (20), Baton Rouge; 17:15

3. Charles Anderson (35), Zachary; 17:38

4. Randy Lafleur (29), Lafayette; 17:54

5. Ari Metzger (32), Baton Rouge; 18:10

6. Braden Mims (41), Thomasville, Ala.; 18:42

7. Matthew Kadowaki (39), Irvine, Calif.; 19:00

8. Rhen Langley (12), Zachary; 19:08

9. Grant Belsome (19), Baton Rouge; 19:23

10. Daric Bass (47), Belle Chasse; 19:30


1. Rebecca Little (20), Baton Rouge; 18:53

2. Amelie Claire Whiteh (18), Baton Rouge; 20:37

3. Kelly Goff (16), St. Francisville; 20:48

4. Deborah Babcock (61), Sulphur; 21:54

5. Megan Valentine (38), Jericho, Vt.; 22:03

6. Hannah Amoroso (39), Baton Rouge; 22:27

7. Dechelle Simon (37), Baton Rouge; 22:39

8. Ava Lemoine (12), Baton Rouge; 22:49

9. Jeanette Campos (27), Baton Rouge; 22:55

10. Robin Cobb (30), Baton Rouge; 23:01

Quarter-marathon top finishers


1. Shaun Evans (38), Middle Grove, N.Y.; 41:05

2. Dylan Schroeder (27), Lake Charles; 44:11

3. Jason Hanks (40), Baton Rouge; 44:36

4. Eric Goodman (52), Baton Rouge; 44:42

5. Carson Hebert (17), Houma; 44:51

6. J.D. Sterba (22), Midland, Mich.; 44:58

7. Kelvin Harrison (37), Baton Rouge; 45:34

8. Tyler Willis (28), Baton Rouge; 46:33

9. Tommie Miers (40), Metairie; 46:58

10. Matthew Royalty (36), Midland, Mich.; 47:04


1. Josie Whipp (14), Baton Rouge; 47:50

2. Gita Kulkarni (40), Houston; 48:18

3. Karmen Davis (36), Baton Rouge; 49:40

4. Rebecca Tucker (37), Baton Rouge; 50:11

5. Katasha Cornwell (39), Crawfordville, Fla.; 50:52

6. Andrea Evans (44), Baton Rouge; 51:48

7. Rhonda Branch (38), Breaux Bridge; 51:52

8. Rebecca Quebedeaux (13), Baton Rouge; 52:04

9. Billie Tadros (28), Lafayette; 53:24

10. Emma Graves (11), Baton Rouge; 54:17