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April 26, 2013

USAO athlete reaches out through running


With proper treatment, individuals with tetralogy of Fallot are able to live mostly normal lives.

Olivia was just six months old when she first underwent surgery for her condition at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

While the family has health insurance, bills continue to mount as the family spends weeks away from home and accrue other costs.

Liverpool Ties

Naturally, two college soccer coaches and a college soccer player share a common bond with the sport they love. But the relationship among Hilton, Riley and Parkinson runs much deeper.

Back to their lives across the pond.

All three men are from Liverpool, England, finding their way to Oklahoma through soccer.

Hilton and Parkinson actually played soccer together while growing up. Even though Riley is a few years older, they all knew of each other before they reconnected in the States.

“We’ve been involved in each other’s family and circle of friends for many years,” Parkinson said.

This connection made them all part of a tight knit group of Liverpudlians in the area — despite their association with rival universities.

The Marathon

Parkinson is set to compete in the half-marathon, which spans 13.1 miles. While his training began vigorously, it changed course slightly when he got the opportunity to play for the Oklahoma City FC Premier Development League (PDL) soccer team this summer PDL is the pro development league of the United Soccer Leagues..

“It started off, I was doing between 40-50 miles a week training for it and a lot of strength training on the legs,” Parkinson said. “Now that I’ve committed to the team, it’s very hard to train for both. I’ve just turned my preparation into soccer preparation because I know with soccer fitness, I can run a competitive half marathon.”

The team’s second scrimmage will be the day of the marathon.

While he is shooting for a 1:40:00 completion time, Parkinson said his time isn’t as important as the reasoning behind his race.

“I just want to complete it, and I just want people to know the money they put forward, there’s a reason behind it. We are trying to contribute how we can,” he said. “We just want to finish it well and then be able to turn the check over to baby Olivia and Tommy.”

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