Achilles Unites All Athletes for a Four-Miler in Central Park
Year round, we love shining a spotlight on the achievements of athletes with disabilities, whether it means introducing students to the sport of wheelchair racing on Saturday mornings or keeping the TCS New York City Marathon finish line open late for those who need 11 or 12 hours to complete their 26.2 miles.
Still, the Achilles Hope & Possibility (4M), which today welcomed more than 5,600 runners to Central Park, is one of the most moving events on the New York Road Runners race calendar.
Hope & Possibility brings together athletes with disabilities, like Adam Keys, a member of Achilles International’s Freedom Team, a program for wounded veterans…
…and able-bodied runners, like today’s open division winners: Temesgen Habtemariam Bekele of the West Side Runners took the top spot in the men’s race in 19:15, while his teammate Belaynesh Fikadu won the women’s race in 22:17.
The event also included a one-mile walk along with kids’ races for youth ages 2 to 10. All runners, walkers, and wheelers went home with a medal.
Other cities’ Achilles chapters made the trip to NYC to be part of today’s event.
Achilles International was established in 1983 with a mission to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events in order to promote personal achievement. In the weeks leading up to the Hope & Possibility (4M), we told the stories of some of these athletes, like Neill Biddy, a blind runner who found a new family when he took up the sport, and Lucia Winston, a diabetic walker who’s finally comfortable calling herself an athlete.
Inspired by the participants in today’s event? Visit achillesinternational.org to learn how you can get involved with this incredible organization.