TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Down syndrome runner breaks record, Michelle Knight speaks out

Nov. 4, 2013 at 3:40 PM ET

Matt starts No-Shave November with stubble, Jimmy Jenson crosses the NYC marathon finish line and Cleveland kidnapping victim Michelle Knight speaks out.
Matt starts No-Shave November with stubble, Jimmy Jenson crosses the NYC marathon finish line and Cleveland kidnapping victim Michelle Knight speaks out.

1. Cleveland kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight is opening up about her decade of constant and often brutal abuse at the hands of Ariel Castro. In an exclusive interview, she told Dr. Phil McGraw she survived by holding out hope that she would see her son again.

“She had one beacon ahead of her,” Dr. Phil told TODAY. “And that was her 2-and-a-half-year-old son. She said, ‘I have to live for him. And I’m fighting to stay alive for him.’”

Video: In a new interview with Dr. Phil, Michelle Knight, one of the victims who escaped after being held captive in a Cleveland home for 10 years, describes details of her horrific experience.

2. Jimmy Jenson accomplished something huge this past weekend: He became the first person with Down syndrome ever to complete the New York City Marathon.

Jenson, 48, ran the race with his friend, Jennifer Davis, who he met 12 years ago through the program Best Buddies.

When she first met him, “he would sit in the corner, kind of cross-legged,” Davis told TODAY. “He's become so much more outgoing.”

Video: Jimmy Jenson ran into the history books at the New York City Marathon Sunday, becoming the first person with Down syndrome to complete the famous race.

3. Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann assert in their new book “Double Down” that President Obama’s top advisers staged an intervention before his second debate with Mitt Romney for fear Obama was derailing the campaign.

“All the things that had been problematic for (Obama) in Denver, his disdain for Romney, his contempt for Romney — he couldn’t figure out how to deal with that,” Heilemann told Savannah. “He would say, ‘What am I supposed to do when he starts spewing his BS?’”

Video: In their new book “Double Down,” political authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reveal secrets of the 2012 election, including President Obama’s team’s concerns before the second debate and the “tension” between Mitt Romney and Chris Christie.

4. Convicted felon and former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik continued his criticism of federal sentencing guidelines this morning, insisting he’s not trying to raise public sympathy for himself.

“It’s not about me being a victim of the system,” he told Matt. “I think the system is flawed. I think the system is supposed to punish. It’s not supposed to annihilate personally, professionally, financially.”

Video: In an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik reflects on his three years in prison for ethics violations, saying his experiences have brought him to believe that the prison system is flawed.

5. We’re three days into No-Shave November, and the situation’s already getting hairy. Exhibit A: Matt’s stubble.

Three day's in, Matt's stubble is starting to show.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!