Do you want to start doing races using your wheelchair? That’s great! Organized races are a wonderful way to motivate you to get active and fit; they’re also a fun way to spend time with friends and loved ones. The hardest part will probably be choosing what race you want to do. With such a wide variety of races out there nowadays, you can certainly find something that will suit your personality and interests.
No matter what you are passionate about, you can probably find a race in honor of it! Charity races are a great way to connect with other people in your community who share your same enthusiasm for a particular cause. Michelle decided to complete a particular race for a very personal reason.
I competed in the “Let's Beat Ovarian Cancer” race in Tampa, Florida. This race was close to my heart because I lost my paternal aunt to ovarian cancer when she was just in her early 30s. It was uplifting to be around so many survivors of ovarian and other forms of cancer, yet they were congratulating me for competing in the race! I plan on going back next year.
Obstacle races, like Spartan Races, are becoming increasingly popular. Take a regular race distance and insert rope pulls, monkey bars, mud pits, and more! Many folks register for these races with a team rather than as individuals. Freedom Chair rider Tyler Rich participates in obstacle races all across the country as a member of Team Oscar Mike and Team Operation Enduring Warrior. From June 2016 to October 2018, Tyler completed well over 50 racing miles—a count that doesn’t even count his training miles. He often refers to his Freedom Chair as his "war chariot."
The fact that I have been so rough on [the Freedom Chair] and it still works as well as the day I got it is impressive . . . I completed the Capital Tour 2017 - Columbia, SC, to benefit Operation Enduring Warrior. 20 miles in 9.5 hours. Couldn't have done it without the Freedom Chair! . . . [also] tackled the Spartan Sprint at West Point with Oscar Mike and [Operation Enduring Warrior] . . . Mud, elevation changes, and more mud; but a good time was had by all!
There are often opportunities to engage with and support your community in the form of a race. Local organizations may use the opportunity of a race to raise awareness and funding. Eric decided to show support for his local fire district by completing a fun run with his GRIT Freedom Chair.
Had a great time on Saturday doing the Fire K Fun Run sponsored by the Waterloo Morada Fire District and the Morada Area Association . . . This was a fun run that included all ages—kids, senior adults, runners, walkers, bicycles, and even some disabled participants.
The route went through the country community of Morada of beautiful homes on large properties. The whole area is covered in large valley oak trees and many other various large trees. I got to meet two other disabled individuals, [but] I was the only person that did the race in a Freedom Chair.
Unusual races refers to events that have interesting twists to them. These can be a silly as dressing up like a gorilla (or banana) for the Denver Gorilla Run, or as nerdy as pretending you are in the apocalypse and running from zombies (check out the Zombie Mud Run). Nerissa decided to be blasted with color cannons at the Boston Color Run 5K!
While I generally prefer to be on a hiking trail, there is something really fun about the energy of an organized race. I've done a couple with my Freedom Chair, and I'll never do another one without it. The levers allow me to maintain solid momentum; I always find myself passing people! The stability I get from the design of the chair allows me to easily tackle any obstacles such as broken-up pavement or missing curb cuts. My favorite race I've done with the Freedom Chair so far has to be the Boston Color Run!