Whether you are a runner or not, everyone knows the time and dedication it takes to prepare for a marathon. Something you may not know, however, is that not everyone who competes in a marathon does so on foot. The Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans proudly compete with the assistance of hand cycles. The reason? These brave veterans have been disabled while serving their country.
The Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans was created in 2004 specifically to meet the needs of soldiers who have been wounded while serving in the US military. The participants of the program receive a hand-crank bicycle and special training to help them compete in marathons held around the country. But more than just the goal of entering and completing a marathon, the program promotes self-confidence and sets a stage for both physical and emotional healing.
This year, Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers are the proud title sponsor of the half marathon at the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon. Teaming up with The Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers will be flying the 17 veterans participating in the marathon to Detroit and honoring them with a weekend full of entertainment and activities. Their cycles will be tuned-up prior to the start of the marathon and the GI’s of Comedy are coming to Detroit to also honor these inspiring athletes.
Another unique aspect of this marathon is that the men will be meeting with students from Michigan Technological University. However, these are no ordinary students. Over the past year, the Michigan Tech students, with guidance from GM, have been working on a prototype for a new, superior hand cycle. This new hand cycle will make racing much easier for those veterans who have been disabled in the course of duty.
When the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans came to the Detroit Marathon for the 2011 race, those GM members helping with the tune-up of the hand cycles, witnessed how difficult it was to keep the cycles in working order and race ready. Thus the idea was born for a new hand cycle and Michigan Tech was brought in to help.
The weekend of the 2012 marathon, those students involved with the project, termed “Huskies Helping Heroes” will meet with men from The Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans to look at the intricacies of the hand cycle, as well as get their thoughts and input on the design. This is truly an exciting time for all those involved!
GM and your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers understand how much the men and women of our military sacrifice to serve and protect our great nation. Every day their job is to ensure our freedom. GM and Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers salute those dedicated members of the American military both past and present.
For more information about the Detroit Marathon, please visit www.freepmarathon.com. For more information about The Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, please visit www.achillesinternational.org.