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Published May 07, 2014, 05:57 PM

A West Fargo man is gearing up for his first race in the Fargo Marathon after suffering a rare heart attack

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A West Fargo man is gearing up for his very first race, after suffering a rare heart attack while training for the Fargo Marathon.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A West Fargo man is gearing up for his very first race, after suffering a rare heart attack while training for the Fargo Marathon.

Back in January, Justin Gress didn't think he'd live to tell his story.

He collapsed while running at the gym.

But now - he's back hitting the pavement with his kids.

WDAY 6 Reporter Kay Cooley has the story.

Come Thursday night, Justin Gress and 5-year-old Hannah will be taking their competitive strides...

Hannah: “Because I can beat everyone.”

From West Fargo streets to Fargo's half-mile youth run.

Justin Gress/Running After Heart Attack: “She likes to talk trash so she keeps me motivated and I keep her motivated.”

It’s little Hannah who has pushed her daddy both in training and recovery.

Gress: “I'm just thankful to be up and walking let alone running.”

Just four months ago, the 34-year-old collapsed while doing exactly what he's doing now, running.

Gress: “Running used to be the ultimate escape where I didn't have to worry about anything, and now there's always something in the back of my head.”

He was training for the Fargo marathon at Snap Fitness when he suffered a rare heart attack. Luckily two women there didn't hesitate to help.. And save his life.

Gress: "They pointed out the many reasons I'm really lucky."

By his health today, you’d never believe Gress was pronounced clinically dead for ten minutes..

Gress: "All of this is really a second chance."

So he can't wait to tackle the race with his kids...

Dane: “I'm faster than those guys.”

His journey proving it doesn't necessary matter the distance you go... Be it half a mile, or 26 point 2.

Gress: “Everyone has got to run a marathon in their lifetime.”

But who you have running beside you; pushing, encouraging, and striving towards life's finish line.

The Gress family is hosting a benefit and silent auction to help cover Justin's mounting medical bills.

It's this Saturday at El Zagal Shrine beginning at 4.

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