Several Paralyzed Veterans of America members on February 2, 2014, had strong finishes in the handcycling race of the Melbourne Marathon – the official kickoff of the season for Paralyzed Veterans Racing.
Paralyzed Veterans of America member David Randall of Ontario, FL, placed third in the race with a time of 1:12:14, followed by Paralyzed Veterans Racing team members Carlos Moleda of Bluffton, SC, (1:12:18) and Alfredo De Los Santos of Hopewell Junction, NE (1:13:21). Also, Will Groulx from Portland, OR, finished first in the H1 division (1:24:47).
The three finishers joined more than 25 other members of Paralyzed Veterans of America and/or Paralyzed Veterans Racing as the team kicked off the 2014 handcycling season at the Top End EuroAmerican Handcycling Championship taking place during the 2014 Melbourne Music Marathon Weekend in Melbourne, FL.
Other team members racing in Melbourne included Gerard Ah-Fook, Joseph Beimfohr, Wesley Bergin, Michael Bishop, Timothy Brown, Dennis Clark, Omar Duran, Michael Frazier, Jake Freeland, Kevin Hillery, Geoff Hopkins, Tammy Landeen, Charles Lemon, Jonathan Miller, David Neumer, Bruce Newman, Michael Paul, Robert Puckett III, Scott Rimmer, Howie Sanborn, Jeff Snover, David Swaim, Scott Sweet, Freddie Uzeta, and Keith Winchell.
The Top End EuroAmerican Handcycling Championships is one of the nation’s premiere handcycling events. Using the same 26-mile course as that run by the marathoners, the handcycling race offers great straightaways and challenging bridge climbs and drops. The event caps entry to 80 handcyclists with a mandatory prior marathon finishing time of 2 hours, 30 minutes or better, meaning the event attracts the world’s best.
“It tells everybody where they are coming out of their winter training,” said Jody Shiflett, adaptive cycling program consultant at Paralyzed Veterans of America. “Some people have been actively training, and others are coming out of the dormant mode. It shines a spotlight on where they are at the beginning of the season.”
Fifteen members of the Paralyzed Veterans Racing team are currently in Brooksville, FL, for the invitational handcycling training camp. Racers will head to Redlands, CA, April 3-6, for the Redlands Classic, followed by the Clocktower Classic in Rome, GA, April 24-27.
“Those who would like to be taken seriously and race with us are encouraged to get involved,” Shiflett said.
Learn more about the 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.