Achilles Becky

Guiding a Hero

More than 30,000 people braved the cold, pounding rain this past weekend to participate in the 14th Annual St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, an iconic course which begins at Centennial Park and weaves its way past some of Nashville’s most recognizable locations – Music Row, the State Capitol, Broadway – and ends at LP Field (home of the Tennessee Titans).

One of those brave participants was 72-year-old Richard “Dick” Traum from New York. In 1976, less than a year after he began running, Traum (an above the knee amputee) became the first amputee to complete the New York City Marathon. Seven years later, in 1983, Traum founded Achilles Track Club (now known as Achilles International) a nonprofit organization that offers numerous programs in support of athletes with disabilities, including pairing able-bodied volunteers with disabled runners to train and participate in races across the United States and abroad.

Avid runner and ISTS President and CEO Becky Sharpe also participated in this year’s event – but not in the way you might expect. Rather than run this year, Sharpe donned an Achilles International jersey and hopped on her bike to serve as Traum’s guide. Representing the Achilles International Freedom Team, Traum weathered the storm for 13.1 miles and cranked his way to a first-place finish in the Half-Marathon Wheelchair division. We congratulate Mr. Traum on his victory!

Check out this video of Traum in action! CNN Hero: Dick Traum

You can read more about Becky’s involvement with the Nashville chapter of Achilles International in this post from December.

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