2013-10-23 / Features

Runners Against The Odds In The ING NYC Marathon

(Front, seated); Bill Reilly, (l. to r., standing); Wendy Furtado, Harold Chayefsky and Ariel Krieger.  Photo Courtesy Harold Chayefsky (Front, seated); Bill Reilly, (l. to r., standing); Wendy Furtado, Harold Chayefsky and Ariel Krieger. Photo Courtesy Harold Chayefsky Every one of the 45,000 runners that participates in the ING New York City Marathon (INGNYCM) brings to the race their own motivation and reason for running. Some race the 26.2 mile, five-borough course to break records and make history, and others for the sense of personal accomplishment following a long road of training.
Each year, INGNYCM includes one of the largest, if not the largest, field of athletes with disabilities (AWD) of any marathon in the world, and makes special provisions for the athletes.
This year there are 170 ambulatory athletes with disabilities who are running the marathon and 150 disabled athletes participating in wheelchairs and handcycles. There are more than 150 guides who  accompany the AWDs who require assistance while on the course.
One such participant is Bill Reilly, 61, guided by his long-time running partner, Harold Chayefsky. “Backwards Bill”, as he is known, lives with cerebral palsy and is racing to support Achilles International, a nonprofit which encourages those with disabilities to remain as active as they can. Although he can only navigate by pushing his specially built wheelchair backwards with one leg, Reilly has done more than 10 NYC Marathons and 30 marathons total, including the Boston Marathon. His guide, Chayefsky, has been with Reilly for many of his marathons and continues to train with him. Chayefsky and Reilly are a constant reminder that people are capable of far more than many would believe.
 

 
 
 

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