This year is a year of reflection for me because Arielle will leave for college in 26 short weeks. Some days I feel nothing and can easily utter the words, “Yep, she’s going to Illinois for college.” (Denial) Other days the weight on my heart is so heavy it feels as though the words are smothered with sadness and won’t come out.

For the past six years Arielle has completed the Edison Festival of Light 5K. It’s one of the most popular races in our area. Thousands of people line the streets of Ft. Myers to cheer on the runners and then watch the parade. It has always been one of Arielle’s favorite races. Every year for the past five years she has been the only wheelchair racer. Much like her school track meets.

Arielle at the starting line.

This year it all changed. She had five challengers. While Arielle was apprehensive because she knew she would get beat (they all used hand cycles, which can change gears and give a huge advantage), I was elated because she wasn’t alone. For the past four years I’ve watched her race against her own time at high school track meets and be the only wheelchair racer in local races. She finally had some others to race along with her. And I know that the more wheelchair road racers there are – the more people will become aware of the opportunity for teens to join their adaptive high school track program.

Why is it so important to me to get the word out? Because I’ve seen the difference wheelchair racing has made in Arielle’s life. I want other kids to have the same opportunity.

The man in red won the race in around nine minutes. 3.1 miles in nine minutes! Then he went back, found Arielle and coached her to the finish line.

Comments to "Wheelchair Road Racing"

  1. Pingback: Day 88 – A Horse of Course | Wonky Woman on a Bent Trike

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