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From near death to marathon runner

February 28, 2013 3:25:47 PM PST
Bryan Steinhauer is one of thousands of runners who runs endless loops around Brooklyn's prospect park, but he may be the only one who was never supposed to walk again, not even expected to survive a brutal beating he took five years ago.

"I know how far I've come and how much farther I need to go," he said.

Defying the odds, Steinhauer is training for the New York City Half Marathon, 13.1 miles that takes runners through Central Park and Times Square.

It's the next big step in what has been an amazing recovery.

"My first time running was in physical therapy, just trying to walk at a good pace," Steinhauer said.

In May of 2008, Steinhauer, then a 22-year-old student at Binghamton University, was outside an off-campus bar when he was attacked by two much bigger men. One of them repeatedly stomped on Steinhauer's head, crushing his skull.

Steinhauer spent three months in a coma and had to learn to walk and talk all over again.

"After my physical therapy, I just kept it up, treadmill at the gym. Then, I came to park -- beautiful park, said perfect, I'm going to run here," he said.

Next month, he will run to raise money for "Minds Over Matter," a group he started that supports young adults with traumatic brain injuries.

The half marathon is not the end of Steinhauer's journey.

"I'm a success story. I'm not a victim so here I am to prove it to you. Prove it to the world," Steinhauer said.

Steinhauer says he plans to run the full marathon in November.

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