Sammy Nickalls
December 01, 2015 9:38 am

Kiley Lyall, 24, doesn’t let anything stop her from running — including autism or her epilepsy. That’s part of why she’s been chosen as the brand new cover model for the January/February issue of Women’s Running.

The magazine has been holding their Cover Runner Contest, presented by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, for the past three years. Candidates were required to send in a bio and choose three words to describe themselves. Readers could then vote for finalists, and then, ultimately, for who they wanted to be on the cover of the magazine.

4,000 people entered the contest, and out of all of them, after 10,000 votes, Kiley won — making her the first-ever runner with autism to appear on the cover of a national fitness mag. She also won a photo shoot, a brand-new running wardrobe, and entry into three 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series races.

Kiley, who’s from Chicago and chose “sweet,” “determined,” and “successful” as her three words, started running at the age of 8. Running helps with her autism and her seizures, but it’s become a way of life for her; she recently finished her second half marathon in Chicago. “My autism doesn’t take over my days anymore,” Kiley said, according to the mag. “Although my lifelong seizures have recently become life-threatening, when I run, it relieves so much stress on my brain, allowing me to function much better through most days!”

However, it’s been a hard road for her at times. During her first half marathon, she had a seizure during mile 10. But she insisted she continue with the race — even after she had another seizure a mile later — and eventually finished.

“We’re so passionate about this cover and the opportunity to share Kiley’s story of determination,” editor-in-chief Jessie Sebor said.” Our readers know that a love of running [stems] from many different places and sentiments. We want to support all women on their running journey.”

We absolutely love this story and everything Kiley stands for: determination, drive, and success, no matter the obstacles. Congratulations, Kiley — we’re totally inspired by you.

(Image via Twitter.)

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