In good company

There might not be very many of us (only 26 this year) and we might not be as sleek as the other runners, but there are some pretty amazing athletes who compete in the Boston marathon’s mobility impaired division.

Take for example Keven Counihan. Kevin lost part of his right foot in an accident with a lawnmower. 15 years later, he was in a near-fatal car accident that caused extensive knee, arm, hip, chest, and shoulder damage. Despite all this, and after years of rehabilitation, Kevin focused on running again and set his sights on the marathon distance. In the 7 years since he started marathon running again, Kevin has finished 99 marathons, and hopes to complete his 100th at this years Boston marathon! Pretty amazing Id say. Check out this recent article and Video about Kevin.

Then there’s Kelly Luckett, another awesome athlete. This is her 6th consecutive Boston marathon. She’s also done 21 Ultrathons (50ks) and over 80 shorter races. Kelly came in at 3rd place in this division in lasts years race. Way to go Kelly!

Can’t forget this guy. He is absolutely amazing to watch. Richard Whitehead is a congenital double amputee from the UK and quite a celebrity there. He has broken several world’s records, including the 2009 Rome marathon. I was there when he became the first amputee athlete in history, to break the 3 hour mark in a marathon. Absolutely incredible!

Last but certainly not least, there’s my good friend, Mike Mc Bride, who climbs skyscrapers for fun. Mike will pull an 80lb oxygen cart behind him for 26.2 miles. The fact that he does what he does, given his type of lung disease, still blows me away. He may not be lightning fast, but he has more fortitude and guts than most healthy people half his age. Check out this recent article in the Boston Globe

So, how does it feel to stand next to these phenomenal athletes at the starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts? IT FEELS INCREDIBLE !!

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8 thoughts on “In good company

  1. I love this post!! These people are all waaay awesome. I wish I could be there to cheer on every one of you.

    This fits in very much with my Terry Fox post from today!

      1. Agreed 100%

        The training is going pretty well. I had a great 2 runs this weekend after a so-so week. Guess what? I'm starting to like my long runs a lot more than my weekday short ones. Looking forward to next Sunday's 18 km 🙂

  2. Steve, it is an honor to call you friend, and to be considered among you all is a privilege indeed. I recall walking into the school gym where the mobility impaired athletes were waiting for the start of the Boston Marathon, and I look around the room at the most amazing athletes I had every seen. There were a bunch of men and women, so focused and part of the universe that nothing was going to rob them of what they were there to do and crossing the finish line was the least of them. To say hanging out with Steve and the other mobility impaired athletes was a humbling experience would not to justice to the feelings I had and next Monday I get to have that experience again. WOOHOO! I'm a junkie for that feeling.

    PS. I don't know if you remember saying to me, 2 blocks before the finish line, that "we should run the last 2 blocks". I'm sure my response contained an explicative of some sort,
    but my response would be the same again this year "I am happy to follow you arcoss the finish line anywhere you want to lead me to, but I ain't running anywhere, I'm a racewalker!"

  3. Yeah, I bet it feels incredible. Just READING this feels incredible. Those last two, especially, Richard and Mike–I'm in awe of their accomplishments and fortitude. I read this right after Danielle's Terry Fox post. I swear, this is Inspriational Blog Reading Night.

    All 26 of you = heroes

  4. I completely agree!!! I had the same feeling on Monday being around a first time marathonner who is a hand-crank wheelie, learning how to use some of the equipment, and just being with you guys … there is nothing like it. Watching the guy who was doing the race backward, and VIP who we played leapfrog with, in the parlance of Boston: WICKED! In the airport, everyone was asking how my marathon was, and I said "I was honored to be just the guide for two amazing best buds who don't let me camp out on my pitty pot EVER!" You two made my dream come true, nearly gave ME asthma attacks trying to run to catch up, and let me be the "saber tooth kitty cub of protectiveness" in the back.

  5. HOWEVER – Mike is right on Steve's wanting to run the end! After he stopped saying "I'm not sure if I'm going to finish" with a BIG cheesy grin and twinkle in his eye, he told me about what it is like to do the last bit. Then he said some rubbish and I looked at him saying "OI! You're not going to go about telling me all about this magical ending and NOT get me there!!! We'll decide on running when we get there!" Yes he picked up insane speed but we not only finished standing, but together!
    Thanks guys! I am forever the protective kitty, but I can literally say that you guys made most of my dream come true and without you it would never have been a possiblity. The full dream would have been the three of us together, but Mike made me happier by not only doing the SMART thing, but standing there right at the end!

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