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Handcycles in "running" races.

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  • Handcycles in "running" races.

    First, I want to disclose that I am FOR handcycles in running races.

    Being that I haven't found any handcycle races in my area, except for the Top End Championships-Melbourne FL in Feb, I have been entering regular "running" races. To date there have been 3 races, and in each I was entered in my age group (men 35-39) versus being the only "wheelchair" participant and getting an automatic 1st place.

    What I'm trying to figure out is this; I'll be doing a Half Marathon in Dec, and a Full in Jan, which both have a handcycle division. Why don't they break it down for Paras & Quads like they do age groups for runners?

    I was reading about a guy (para) who averaged 17mph in a half marathon. I on the other hand am averaging about 9mph. Yes, we're using the same contraption, but to me it's like putting a 25 yr old & 70 yr old runner in the same class. Granted, there are some 70 yr olds in better shape!

    Is it just a "given" that if I'm going to be up against 3 or more Paras with superpower strength, I'm not going to be placing?

    I can't be the only one that is thinking or has thought about this. What is the general guidelines on BIG races? I know it's probably not worth the fight on the local non-profit fund raisers.
    C5 Incomplete - 25 years of experience!

  • #2
    pretty much. im in the columbus marathon sunday, it draws a ton of gimp athletes no quad class just men/woman class. rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer


    • #3
      Hey J!

      I used to be a racer, and I understand your frustration. It's basically a numbers game. They just don't have enough participants doing these races to make classes based on function. One could argue that at the end of the day, it's not the placing you receive but the time you average on the clock that should serve as your indication of how well you've done, but the fact that a lot of these races have purses based on your placement DOES make who crosses the finish line first, matter.

      I remember my race organization bashing its head against the wall, trying to work with the race organizers in terms of making divisions, even having some type of award set aside for the disabled participants. It was really hard to get any recognition at all, nevermind getting them to make it a fair race.

      I realize my post hasn't really provided you with any answers, but what I can say is talk to other disabled participants who show up to these races. See if you guys can get more people to participate. Consider forming an organization so that if you want to approach the race organizers, you'll have a unified voice. Power in numbers, right? Basically, the race organizers want to know that by taking the time to work with you guys, it will some how pay off, i.e. more participants, therefore more money for them!

      This is the race organization I was a member of, just so you can get an idea of what they do. Good luck!


      • #4
        try to Ian Lawless.
        "If you are going through hell-keep going." -Winston Churchill