This morning, more than 5,600 runners, walkers, handcyclists, and wheelchair athletes arrived in Central Park to take part in one of the most powerful events on the New York Road Runners race calendar.
The Achilles Hope & Possibility (4M), now in its 14th year, is the signature race for Achilles International, a non-profit organization that provides running and other athletic opportunities to people with disabilities.
The hot and sunny day didn’t seem to bother disabled and able-bodied athletes as they ran side-by-side around the park’s four-mile “inner loop.”
Kyle Cook, 22, a handcyclist, was the event’s top finisher today, crossing the finish line in 10:51.
Among the runners, Senbeto Geneti Guteta, 23, of the West Side Runners, was first across the finish line in 18:54. Etaferahu Temesgen, 26, also of West Side Runners, took the top spot on the women’s side with a time of 22:08. It was déjà vu for today’s winners—Guteta and Temesgen also took first place in Saturday’s Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run (5M).
Kids’ races for youth ages 2-12 followed the four-mile run.
Every finisher left the event with a medal, many heading to a post-race festival that featured entertainment, raffle prizes, and a presentation of awards to athletes across several categories, including pushrim wheelchair, handcycle, amputee, and visually impaired.
Many participants in today’s race were part of Achilles’ Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, a program that provides athletic training and specialized adaptive devices, like hand-crank wheelchairs, to wounded members of the U.S. military. The long-term goal for these athletes is to complete a marathon; along the way, they hit smaller milestones, like today’s Hope & Possibility four-miler.
Feeling inspired to run for a great cause this summer? Spots remain for Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe (4M) Brought to You by Vortex on July 16 and the NYRR Flushing Meadows Summer Classic 5K, a fundraiser for NYRR’s Youth and Community programs, on July 17.