Hi. I read your intro and I thought I might run something by you. My husband signed up and trained for a marathon last year. We live way out in West Texas so it is a remote highway race but also a Boston qualifier. He decided to use his hand cycle because we have "goat-head" stickers (and tumbleweeds) all over out here and the racing chair goes flat on the road and expensive to repair. He contacted the race manager and they discussed a possible WC division. I don't know if that was ever created but he found an older lady who a neuro-muscular disease that was also doing the 1/2 on a hand cycle. And so they trained. He was stoked. He took pics the night before of his helmet and race number and posted on social media. I was working night shift at the ER but was going to push on and run a 5K after the shift just to be there. But I got a call before I could even grab my sneakers. He was hit by a car at the starting line area. There must have been around 100 people warming up for the full marathon. It was still dark just before sunrise. The lady that hit him said she was going about 60 mph. It blew my mind when I found out she was there to run the race. She was hauling it down to the start because she was worried she'd miss go-time. They flew my husband from the scene. Helmet on and strapped in, the impact thrust him forward and flipped the chair with him in it onto the highway. He sustained a deep forehead laceration, broken foot, terrible road rash down the shoulder and arm,and a concussion. We were grateful that he wasn't left with increased disability or killed. Here is the thing though. Just one week later, we looked at the web page for the race. They posted a notice that athletes using adaptive equipment like racing chairs, hand cycles, etc. were no longer allowed in the race. Right after that they wrote something like... "this is a highway race and all runners are personally responsible for your safety". Wow. As if he asked to get hit by this lady who knew that there were tons of people standing around in the dark. I feel like the race is really discriminating against adaptive athletes. All they had to do was place some lights, a few cones, maybe have law enforcement close down the highway for the race. My husband was wearing protective equipment and reflective gear with a light.
How do you feel about this and do you hear of others who have gone through this kind of thing? We don't want to bring it forward to larger racing boards until the lawsuit to get his medical bills is over. The chopper ride was more than a Tesla would cost and he wasn't medically covered for 2 more months. We both think we should say or do something when the time is right.