Did you know that many national marathons offer Athletes with Disabilities divisions? If you’ve ever considered participating in a marathon but did not think you would be able to due to a disability, think again. The famed New York and Boston marathons, among many others, offer AWDs an opportunity to make their way through the 26.2-mile course, an impressive achievement for any athlete.
Throughout the years, many AWDs have participated in and completed marathons, paving the way for future wheelchair racers with mobility equipment. Some have proven to be top contenders in the courses, not only finishing the races but also doing so at a very competitive pace. Josh Cassidy holds the current record for the fastest completion of a marathon on a wheelchair, having crossed the Boston Marathon’s finish line in just 1:18:24 in 2012. Mike Savicki, National Mobility Awareness Month spokesperson is the only person to be in the Boston Marathon both on foot and in a wheelchair. Paul Erway, Grant Berthiaume and Aaron Roux, friends and wheelchair racers have banded together and embarked on a journey of Fifty Ability Marathons in fifty states in fifty weeks. Visit their website to see how they are inspiring others, track their accomplishments and join in the fun.
In addition to major national marathons, there are many smaller, shorter distance races popping up across the country.
Whether they are fundraisers for local organizations or simply encouragement for wheelchair athletes or others with disabilities to participate in sports, these events are packed with inspiring stories and memorable moments. We highly recommend researching opportunities to get involved within your community, even if it’s as a spectator.
As always, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any training regimen. Also, keep in mind that each marathon has its own varying guidelines and requirements for AWDs. Make sure to reach out to a race organizer before submitting your application with any questions you may have.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.