Racing with Care2Tri Through the Eyes of a Differently-Abled Person by Alan Rodriguez

My name is Alan Rodriguez, I have Wilson’s Disease and I would like to express what it was like for me participating in the Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend with Care2Tri.

I’m a professional photographer and the official photographer for Care2Tri. I have been photographing every event/race that Care2Tri has been to now for about two years from an outsider’s perspective.

Photo of a cyclist pulling someone in a trailer on a bike

For me as of late, covering from an outsider’s point of view was starting to feel a little monotonous. A few weeks ago Greg mentioned to me that the next coming race is Gasparilla and so asked me; “Alan, would you be willing to participate in the race?” I told him not really because I can’t run that long. He said “I mean, would you mind if I pushed you through the race?” I thought to myself “Here’s an opportunity for a different perspective that I was looking for that I could capture in pictures, this is perfect!” So I said “Yes, I’ll do it.” Continue reading

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Update about ‘International Triathlon Union (ITU): Remove the “Black Out Glasses” Rule for TRI6 Paratriathletes.’ on Change.org

***Sharing the email of Victory that was sent today from the petition on change.org***

Image a pair of black out glasses with the no symbol over them

They are GONE!

When we began this petition we wanted the voices of our community heard and heard you WERE! We never believed that in such a short period of time, we would see this change happen, but it has – because of YOU!

The ITU released this message today:

ITU would like to make you aware of recent updates to the 2013 ITU Competition Rules concerning changes to TRI-6 division of paratriathlon.

Following consultation with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC),the existing TRI-6 class will be divided into two categories for the 2013 season, as follows:

TRI-6a: For totally blind athletes (existing profile 36 and IBSA/IPC B1)

TRI-6b: For the balance of athletes with a visual impairment (current profiles 37a and 37b or IBSA/IPC B2 and B3) Continue reading

My MtbAyiti Experience (Part 1) by Brian Cowie

(**This is the first in a series by Brian Cowie exploring his journey throughout Haiti**)

Day 1 – Travel

My trip to Haiti started on Sunday January 27th and ended on Monday the 28th. I left Vancouver Sunday afternoon and arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Monday morning. As I stepped off the plane I was immediately greeted by the heat and humidity of the Caribbean Island. The ride from the airport was chaotic. The traffic was crazy and there seemed to be no order; lots of trucks and small motorbikes with as many as three passengers. The roads were a real mess with potholes everywhere.  Our first stop was the Oloffson Hotel where everyone had been staying for the past few days. Here I met up with my tandem partner Eric Miller from Pueblo, Colorado.  Eric was here as the medical director and also my tandem pilot. The Oloffson, built in the 1800’s, is a historic landmark in Haiti. It was a favourite destination for a number of celebrities including Jacqueline Onassis and Mick Jagger. Continue reading

Tweet You Say? Building your Brand as a Para-Athlete by Jan Ditchfield

I recently did a group presentation on the “how” to develop a personalized brand as a para-athlete using social media. What I took from the opportunity was that we aren’t having enough conversations about the “why”; as in why it is so important to be online and to claim your brand from the onset. As a para-athlete, your brand will play a key factor in sponsorship endorsements, media opportunities and raising awareness of your sport outside of traditional market spaces. If you are not online, you need to be. Social media is a huge part in the development of your brand. Like it or not, it’s here to stay and the online community you create can be the defining factor in how you are known in the public eye. Continue reading

“You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”? NOT! (If you are Visually Impaired) by Diane Berberian

Image a pair of black out glasses with the no symbol over themFact: 44 years of participation in athletics and organized sports and I was already in college when the Title IX movement happened (women’s equality). Call me naive, but I did not imagine that this many years later I would be experiencing a new form of prejudice. I am Visually Impaired and I want to be included in the sport of triathlon!

So what is bothering me? I am visually impaired (legally blind) and I want to compete with my peers. However, to compete in a Paratriathlon Championship event, I will be asked to wear BLACK OUT GLASSES. When I refuse to wear the glasses, I am placed in a category called Open Physically Challenged. I want my name in the results and I want to know where I rank (even if last)! Continue reading

Asking for Help by Greg Simony

**Greg Simony is the Founder of Care2Tri; a USA based non-for-profit that assists children and adults with CP participate in triathlon by using adaptive equipment to race with**

Is asking for help something that is difficult for you? Do you feel that by asking others for things, it makes you weak?

This is something I have struggled with for years. I was taught, “If you want something done; just do it yourself”. As I grew into adulthood, I learned that this motto probably is the best way to live, as many people talk a good game, yet when it comes down to it they don’t back up what they say they’re going to do. It really didn’t make sense to me because when people asked me to do something, I was always there for them. I held this motto and believed it to be the absolute truth. I was right 100% of the time. Continue reading

Finding Hope in Haiti by Brian Cowie

Photo of Brian Cowie with his tandem and wearing a Canadain jersey

The Canadian Stoker

On November 30th of last year I received an email from Jan Ditchfield; friend, agent and President of PARA-Promotions, asking me if I would be interested in doing a race in Haiti. Seems a colleague of hers, Eric Miller, founder of the Rush-Miller Foundation (an organization that donates tandem bikes to visually impaired kids throughout the US and also internationally) was looking for a stoker who might be interested in this challenge. Haiti huh……sounds interesting. Never been to Haiti. Always looking for new places to race.

“Yah, I’m in. When is it?” Continue reading

Journey to Recover by John Young

Photo of John Young at the finish line of the marathon course.

Crossing the finish line at the Myles Standish Marathon

On November 18th, I did what I never thought I could when I completed my first marathon, the Myles Standish Marathon in Plymouth, MA.  The race was a quick replacement to the NYC Marathon that was cancelled 2 weeks earlier due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

The race was an amazing experience and my race report can be found here.

Based on this race, I managed to qualify for the Boston Marathon as an AWAD runner.

When I started competing in triathlon 3 years ago, I never imagined I would be preparing for and then completing a 26.2 road race.  Contrary to what I was being told by MANY of my seasoned athletic friends, I chose to honor a commitment I made to run in the “Feaster Five” in Andover, MA on Thanksgiving Day (4 days after the marathon) and then in the Jolly Jaunt 5K in Danvers, MA  on the first weekend in December.  A friend of mine warned, his only injuries have occurred during very short races following LONG races. Continue reading

The Classification of Disability by John Young

Image of John Young exiting the swim at a triathlon.

John Young exiting the swim at the Toronto Triathlon Festival.

As many paratriathletes are aware, paratriathlon will be included in the Paralympics in Rio in 2016.  Already, teams are starting to get ramped-up, and athletes are continuing to train in the hopes of representing their country in 4 years on an international stage.  Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world as it is one of the only ones where both amateur and professional often race on the same course at the same time.  Like-wise paratriathlon is growing with both athletes who have been physically challenged since birth or childhood along with athletes who became disabled later in life either from an accident, injury during war, or some condition they acquired. Continue reading

Para-Sports: My Second Chance at High Level Sports By Dave Carragher

Image of Dave Carragher and his guide running to the finish line at Paratriathlon Nationals

Dave Carragher and his guide, Carl Burgess completing the Sprint triathlon for Silver at the Paratriathlon Nationals in Kelowna, BC.

As I rode my bike down the street, or went for a run or a swim as a sighted person, no one thought anything about it. I was just seen as an active kid. As a sighted athlete, I was just another guy on the team; not a superstar by any means.

I know everyone has their place, but like many other athletes, I also realized in able-bodied sports the childhood dreams of making the pros was definitely not a realistic goal for me as my sight began to fade.

Now after I have lost my vision and I have been given the opportunities to get back into sports, my dream of being able to make the Olympic team has been restored. Only now I will have the chance to compete at the Paralympics; where I will be able to compete against other visually impaired athletes instead of fully sighted athletes as I did when I was younger and going through the process of losing my vision. Continue reading