Cleveland Marathon runner with autistic son always training for the road ahead

Musician hits the road running while on the road touring

ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - For years, Joey Hanna's life revolved around music and touring with popular artists, like Carrie Underwood and Gavin DeGraw.

Hanna said there came a point he had enough.

"I would do TV and I would see myself on TV and I'd be like, woo, I gotta get a little healthier," he said. "I started running in all the cities we'd play in, so I'd kind of be the scout for the band. I'd get up and run before they'd even be up."

One mile turned into two and, before long, Hanna was hooked. He started signing up for races and shed 75 pounds in the process.

Hanna has run the Cleveland half marathon four times and won his age group twice.

"I just started running and I never ever ever imagined competitively or anything like that," he said.

Hanna said running also helps him stay positive. A few years ago, doctors diagnosed his now 8-year-old son, Jameson, with autism.

"When you're a caregiver, if you're not coming from a positive angle it's not going to go well, so you have to really be in a positive mindset and a strength mindset,  and running does that for me for sure," Hanna said.

Marathon training helps the two of them bond. Hanna said Jameson loves biking the trails at the Rocky River Reservation.

"He'll be in the bike trailer jumping up and down. He's so excited," he said.

It's clear, running has brought Hanna much more than he ever imagined. He said it's put things into perspective by clearing his mind, strengthening his body and bringing him closer to his son.

"Without running, I don't know what I'd even do. It's been a huge, huge thing for me," Hanna said.

Hanna said his goal is to start training for triathlons to do with his son, Jameson. One day they hope to do an IRONMAN together.

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