Enabling All Athletes at Achilles

Enabling All Athletes at Achilles

A bright, sunny morning greeted more than 5,500 athletes as they prepared for the Achilles Hope & Possibility (4M) in Central Park. Following yesterday's Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run (5M), the event closed out a weekend of races that welcomed runners of all backgrounds.

In line with the mission of Achilles International—to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events in order to promote personal achievement—this race included athletes of all abilities, giving handcyclists, wheelchair athletes, and mobility-impaired athletes their own space on the starting line.

#GoAchilles runners are off! Good luck everyone and we'll see you at the finish.

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Within that pack of runners was comedian Jon Stewart. The former host of The Daily Show has supported this race for several years, and he served as a Race Buddy at today's event.

Breaking the tape in the runners' division were Mengistu Tabor Nebsi of the West Side Runners in 19:18 and Askale Merachi of Urban Athletics in 21:49.

Leading the handcyclist division was Dave Nadeau in 15:07, while Ricardo Corral won the wheelchair athlete race in 34:13. All runners who completed the race took home a finisher's medal.

Kids' races followed the four-miler, and youth earned their own finisher medals...

...although some kids opted to earn a medal with the full four-miler over Central Park's hills.

Among the many inspirational stories within the field of athletes, one in particular showcased Achilles International's ongoing work with veterans: Gene, an Achilles team member and a paralyzed Army veteran, participated in the event using a ReWalker exoskeleton.

To learn more about Achilles International and how you can support athletes with disabilities, visit the organization's website.

And if you're feeling inspired to run, sign up today for next month's NYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K in Prospect Park and NYRR R-U-N 5K in Central Park.

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