QUEEN CREEK (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Queen Creek boy living with cerebral palsy and Asperger syndrome set a goal to run 1,000 miles by his 12th birthday, and he's on track to do it.

11-year-old Caleb Schroeder runs with his parents

Caleb Schroeder, 11, runs with his parents. He's now 52 miles away from reaching his 1,000-miles-in-one-year goal.

Caleb Schroeder runs with his parents around the neighborhood, averaging 3.3 miles each day, six days a week.

With 948 miles under his belt, he has 52 miles left to hit that big goal.

Caleb said this all started after he saw his dad sign up for a "1,000 miles in 2018" challenge on a social media fitness app.

"I was like, 'I think I can do that. I'm up for a little challenge,'" Caleb said. 

His dad, Kirk Schroeder, who has trained and participated in marathons and Ironman events for years, was surprised when Caleb told him about his goal. He said Caleb had trouble with his balance and couldn't go a quarter of a mile without falling.

Running 1000 miles

Caleb, who has had several surgeries, runs with a limp and has limited use of his right hand, but he's not letting anything stop him from achieving his goal. 

His mom, Dana Schroeder, explained his determination is part of his personality and a trait of Asperger syndrome, which is a condition on the autism spectrum. According to Autism Speaks, "remarkable focus and persistence" and "attention to detail" can be distinct strengths of somebody with Asperger's.

Schroeder says Caleb hates deviating from routine and often keeps the family on schedule and accountable.

"He's just phenomenal because he sets goals [and] he reaches them; he pushes those around him to do it," she explained. "He inspires us and he's the one with the supposed disability,and he's doing more than we do and it's pretty incredible."

She said her son has taught their family a valuable lesson and wanted to share his story to encourage others.

"I think all of us have desires to do something and sometimes we're scared and sometimes we think we can't measure up maybe or whatever, but try it," she said.

Caleb started logging his running journey in January and even finished two half-marathons. Now he and his parents -- Team Caleb -- are inviting everyone to watch or run his 1,000th mile with him on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Queen Creek High School's track.

Running 1,000 miles Super Hero Dash

Team Caleb's Super Hero Dash is Saturday, Dec. 15 at Queen Creek High School's track.

Caleb loves superheroes, which is why his event is called Team Caleb's Super Hero Dash. Everyone is encouraged to dress as a superhero. The event starts at 9; Caleb will his the track at 9:15.

While Caleb hasn't completed his running goal just yet, he's already planning a new goal  for next year -- cycling. 

"You know what an Ironman is? I want to do one with my dad one day," he said.

[MAP: Queen Creek High School, 22149 E. Ocotillo Road]

 


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