Several members of Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Racing Team participated in the handcycling division of two key races in the nation’s capital in October in memory of fallen soldiers and in support of the United States Army and Marine Corps.
Paralyzed Veterans Racing Team lines up for start of Marine Corps Marathon. Photo courtesy FootStomp.com.
More than 25 members of Paralyzed Veterans Racing joined more than 30,000 other athletes in the Army Ten-Miler race on October 20, 2013. The race, which guides racers past several national monuments and starts and stops around the Pentagon, raises funds through registration fees and sponsor contributions to benefit Army morale, welfare and recreation programs.
This was third consecutive year the Paralyzed Veterans Racing team has competed in the race. Alfredo De Los Santos of Hopewell Junction, NY, placed first in the men’s handcycle division with a net time of 28:38, followed by Anthony Robinson of Fayetteville, N.C., in second place (31:37), William Lafitte of Laurel, Miss., in fourth place (31:47) and Geoff Hopkins of Fredericksburg, Va., in fifth place (31:47).
More than 30 members of Paralyzed Veterans Racing team also joined 30,000 other athletes in the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27. The 26.2-mile race guides racers past national monuments in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia, beginning at the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery and ending at the Marine Corps War Memorial. The marathon includes racers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and more than 50 countries and is the eighth largest marathon in the world.
De Los Santos again took first place in the men’s handcycling division at the Marine Corps Marathon with a net time of 1:16:27. Following De Los Santos was Dean Schwartz of Farmville, WI, in second (1:17:45), Carlos Moleda of Bluffton, S.C., in third (1:23:58), Jeremy Breece of Cibolo, Texas, in fourth (1:26:24) and Todd Richardson of Moorisville, N.C. in fifth (1:27:26).
“The significance for some racers is that it was their branch of the military; they’ve served in the Army or Marines and [the race] is something they’ve never gotten to do,” said Jody Shiflett, adaptive cycling program consultant at Paralyzed Veterans of America. “There are more than 30,000 people in each of these races, so chances are you’ll see old commanders or people you’ve served with. For some racers, it’s on their bucket list of things to do. Some only do it one time; for others, this is their ninth time.”
Learn more about Paralyzed Veterans Racing Team
Brittany Ballenstedt is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in several publications, including Government Executive, National Journal, Technology Daily and NextGov.com.