Miami Beach, Fla. — Nationally known health advocate Sabrina Cohen and celebrity dog trainer Russell Hartstein teamed up recently to successfully run in the Tropical 5K portion of the Miami Marathon.
“I never thought I’d be in a marathon, but I accomplished it,” said Cohen, who has been a quadriplegic since she was injured at the age of 14.
Cohen, who has been working diligently to reach her fitness goals, credited Hartstein for the idea that they could accomplish it. “Russell approached me months ago telling me he wanted to run in a marathon with me and it was great to be able to do it together,” said Cohen.
“Sabrina was my personal cheerleader and partner and she gave me energy when I needed it,” said Hartstein. “We laughed and ran the entire way to the finish line,” he said. “Considering this was the first marathon we have run together finishing in the 9 minute mile area was quite surprising for both of us,” added Hartstein, who has run marathons, but never one while pushing a companion in a jogging chair. “We talked and laughed the entire way,” he noted.
Running a mile in nine minutes is considered quite fast. Although Hartstein was pushing her in a jogging chair, they accomplished their feat by weaving in and around the slower joggers and walkers, Cohen noted, adding, “This did bring out a competitive streak in me. I can’t wait for us to do it again.”
Hartstein and Cohen work together on many projects, including serving together on the City of Miami Beach’s Disability Access Committee. “I have always had a deep sense of fairness in the world for all people and animals, and being on this committee has allowed me to express this inner desire to help others and to meet some of the most inspirational friends I have ever had the honor to work and play with,” Hartstein said.
Cohen, a nationally known disability rights advocate, is currently creating a fully accessible beach right here in Miami Beach, which will be the first of its kind in Florida.
Hartstein, a Miami Beach-based pet expert and certified professional dog trainer runs Fun Paw Care. He is one of fewer than 200 certified dog behavior consultants in the world. Although he is a celebrity dog trainer for such notables as supermodel and actress Naomi Campbell, actress Gabrielle Anwar and film star and comedian Steve Guttenberg, he also recently received a commendation from the City of Beach for his work with homeless dogs.