GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Seven athletes with disabilities who captured their divisions last year in the Fifth Third River Bank Run will seek to reclaim their titles on May 14. The 2016 event marks the 27th consecutive year that the Mary Free Bed Guild has sponsored the 25K Wheelchair Division and the 11th for the 25K Handcycle Division.
The Fifth Third River Bank Run provides athletes with physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in a competitive race on a 25K national championship course alongside able-bodied racers. Participants include members of Mary Free Bed’s own handcycling team.
“These racers are chasing their goals, similar to other participants, of achieving their personal-best race time, placing to win prize money and living an active life,” said Christy VanHaver, race director for the wheelchair and handcycle division. “Many thanks go to the women of the Mary Free Bed Guild for their continued support of this important event.”
Division winners in 2015 committed to participate again this year include:
- McKayla Hanson, of Ypsilanti, Mich., winner of the Female Handcycle Division
- Richard Biggins, of Sylvania, Ohio, winner of the Male Quad Handcycle Division
- Stan Boyer, of Dallas Center, Iowa, winner of the Male Master Handcycle Division
- Brad Baumann, of Zeeland, Mich., winner of the Male Other Handcycle Division
- Aaron Pike, of Savoy, Ill., winner of the Open Para Wheelchair Division
- Santiago Sanz, of Snellville, Ga., winner of the Open Quad Wheelchair Division
- Kendall Gretsch, of Madison, Wis., winner of the Women Wheelchair Division
Mary Free Bed hopes to attract about 60 participants to the wheelchair and handcycle divisions. Athletes will be racing for $29,200 in prize money between the two divisions. For more information, visit 53riverbankrun.com or email Christy VanHaver at firstname.lastname@example.org