Achilles Heel
May 2015



May is my favorite time of the year! We are pretty much guaranteed sunshine and warmer weather with the promise of summer not too far away. This month is particularly exciting with our first ParaTri weekend, followed by Japan Day and the Brooklyn Half. It is also the start of Achilles Hope & Possibility® events in various chapters. We are gearing up for our New York H&P event on June 28th. If you haven't signed up, please do. We look forward to seeing you there!


In late June, the third edition of "Go Achilles" will be printed. It's a fantastic book and one we are very proud of with 296 pages and over 1,000 full-color photos. In nine chapters, the book tells the Achilles story with our history, local, national and international chapters; our Freedom Team, Achilles Kids and, of course, our annual Hope & Possibility race. The book will be available online. Please keep an eye out for it.


Having completed "Go Achilles-3," I am beginning a book tentatively called "Achilles Heroes." The idea is to find people associated with Achilles, both members and volunteers, who have made a significant impact on their own lives and those of others. My goal is to identify 100 Achilles Heroes during the next 18 months and complete the book by June 2017. If you have suggestions or know someone you would like to nominate (including yourself!), please contact Fiona McKinney.


We are looking for a one-page story of perhaps 800 - 1,000 words and photo(s). The nominees should have accomplished something that is special, worthy of a story and inspiring to others. Since this idea is still in the developing stage, we would also appreciate comments and suggestions.


I will see you all in the park!






Yes, it's H&P Month!! The day is almost here and we are all focused on this incredible day!!! Our 13th Annual Hope & Possibility® 5-Miler is Sunday, June 28th in New York!!!!


We cannot wait to see you. And who knows what VIPs might show up this year!

Click here to register:


WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN FREE ENTRY TO H&P THIS YEAR? Details coming soon. Check out our website and Facebook pages for information on an exciting PHOTO CONTEST.




Achilles friend, Mary Koutrakos, has organized a special brunch after Hope & Possibility®. So, whether you are participating in the race, a spectator or just need a place to meet your friends after, come join us for a post-race brunch.

Sunday June 28th 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. at Dorrian's Red Hand 1616 Second Avenue @ 84th Street.


Including the eventbrite fees attendees (Kids welcome!) will be charged:

Brunch only (coffee/tea included) $15 * Add on 3 hours unlimited Bloody Mary's or Mimosas $20 * Cash bar at happy hour prices for all other beverages.


Go to EVENTBRITE for tickets! 


There will be Silent Auctions for some amazing products and services with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Achilles International.


Check out our special Facebook page for updated details and tickets.




For the third annual year, the Achilles Para-triathlon team kicked off the season with an intensive Para-triathlon Clinic hosted at Crystal Spring Resorts through the generosity of Achilles members Dnyce and Joe Bellantoni. Over two nights and three days twenty-five athletes and guides participated in a clinic designed to improve their triathlon IQ through swimming, biking, and running workshops. A big thank you goes out to coaches Brian Hammond and Travis Hawkins of WorkLiveTri for their continued support and professionalism in coaching our athletes. In addition, thank you to USAT for their grant to help cover some clinic costs so we can improve it for our athletes every year. Our biggest thank you goes out to our athletes and guides who approach every season with passion and commitment. We can't wait to see what the 2015 Season brings!




On Saturday, May 9thAchilles Nashville held our second annual Hope & Possibility® Race. Nearly 700 people joined us on a beautiful morning. The race was a wonderful celebration of hope and possibility in our city from start to finish, as we honored Nashville's first responders in our opening ceremonies. Runners could donate a portion of their registration fee to local non-profits who give hope and possibility to those in our community every day. Runners of all kinds, from Nashville's elite athletes to those still figuring out their body's true capabilities, took to the streets, cheered on by neighborhood residents. A local school split into teams and "adopted" several Achilles athletes to spend the semester learning about Achilles. On race day, kids came to run with and cheer for athletes on their team. There were many stories of hope and possibility throughout the day, but one really stood out: Athlete Austin Crymes, who has been with us since day one, walked 5 miles for the first time in his entire life. He was met at the finish line with thunderous cheers, a moment we won't soon forget.

At the end of the race, we celebrated Nashville's inaugural Achilles Kids program and congratulated our athletes for the work they had done year long on their "Virtual Marathon."


We would like to thank our sponsors, Cigna, Title Sponsor Bulow Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions, as well as Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, H.G. Hill Realty Company, Pinnacle Financial Partners, The Dominican Campus, Jet's Pizza, Fleet Feet Sports Nashville, Calypso Café, Baird, Nashville Striders, Capital Spring, TriStar Health, Results Physiotherapy, Franklin Massage Center, One America, and The Athlete's House. We can't wait until next year's race! - Amy Saffell, Achilles Nashville

Achilles NYC athletes were joined by over 5,500 other runners on the morning of Sunday, May 10th for the annual NYRR Japan Day 4 miler. With the cherry blossoms in full bloom and the sun shining, it was a beautiful day for a race! Post-race festivities included performances of traditional Japanese dance and music at the Bandshell, face painting, caligraphy, and most popular among our athletes, free samples of traditional Japanese food. Runners chowed down on dishes like yakisoba, okonomiyaki, and onigiri while basking in the sun, drinking iced green tea, and listening to Japanese music.


The Achilles Freedom Team was honored to be included in the semi-annual Adaptive Sports Expo at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this month. Even though most of our Freedom Team members are out of the hospital and living exciting and healthy lives back in their homes around the country, it is always a profound experience visiting Walter Reed and meeting newly injured heroes and their families and introducing our program to them. We expect to host many new athletes as well as long-time members at our Hope & Possibility® 5 Miler on June 28th ... and are looking forward to spreading the idea that race weekend brings: hope and the endless possibilities of what we can do if we do it together!



On May 9th, the Achilles Kids celebrated their wonderful parents during our "Parent's Day Fun Run" at the JCC (Jewish Community Center.) Kids high-fived, hugged and gave their parents bouquets of flowers during their relay races and showered their deserving parents with lots of love! Our next indoor Achilles Kids Fun Run will be July 18th. Look for the Kids in Central Park until then while they train for the Hope & Possibility® 5 Miler on June 28th! 


Email Karen for more information on how to volunteer with this one-of-a-kind running program.


The Hogwarts Running Club - over 3,000 members strong - chose Achilles International as their charity this quarter. We are excited for the running of their virtual race, the Voldemort V-Miler. Their support will provide handcycles and race sponsorship for Achilles FREEDOM TEAM. Thanks to their President Brian Biggs for all his support and magic! You even receive a spinning Dark Mark medal!








Lisa Bowers is a volunteer with Achilles since 1999. She is incredibly dedicated, a great runner and a member of Manhattan Yacht Club. Once a year, Lisa arranges for Achilles members to go sailing along the Hudson River! It is something everyone looks forward to.Thank you, Lisa.


"Anything is achievable: Achilles athletes prove that every day, sometimes against great odds. Each of us can benefit from a helping hand and a supportive community and Achilles is one of the most supportive communities ever - one that will help you fulfill your dreams and make you feel on top of the world."


To read more about Lisa, please click here.


To nominate someone as Volunteer of the Month, please email Fiona.

Chapter Happenings &
Upcoming Events in June




Achilles, CT had a successful Pub Night at Thomas Hooker Brewery on Friday May 22nd, raising just over $5,000 for Achilles CT in Hartford Marathon events!!! This was their first big fundraiser! Well done, Achilles CT!!


Achilles Connecticut has a lot going on including a van load of people they plan to bring to New York for the most amazing H&P event ever!!! 


June 7th: Iron Horse Half Marathon 10K & 5K (Simsbury) 

June 20th: Half Full (Stamford) Plus, Pat Griskus Olympic Triathlon (Middlebury)

June 21st: Intercommunity Firecracker 5K (Glastonbury)

June 27th: Gaylord Gauntlet (Wallingford) plus, Fairfield 5K (Fairfield)

June 28th: Fairfield Half Marathon (Fairfield) PLUS.... Achilles Hope & Possibility® 5 Miler (NYC)



Achilles Houston celebrated Memorial Day with its Annual Picnic on Saturday May 23rd in Memorial Park.


June 3rd: Registration for the Chevron Houston Marathon opens June 3rd. There will be 20 handcycle spots and unlimited runner spots available! If you want to register or train with Achilles, contact Bernie at



The Washington, DC chapter of Achilles International is back up and running, and you should be too! Workouts are every Sunday at 10am at the Robert A. Taft Memorial,just north of the Capitol Building. Email to participate.



  • June 21st Sprint The Long Island Tri (Swim 500 meters, Bike 12 miles, Run 5 k) 
  • July 19th weekend NYC TRI (Swim 1500 m, Bike 40km, Run 10km)
  • October 4th weekend Mighty Montauk (Sprint, Olympic, or Half Ironman distances)

DON'T FORGET our Guaranteed Charity Entrant program for 2015. We have slots available for:


NYC Triathlon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

TCS NYC Marathon


For more details, please email SarahTel 973 615 7375.




Mark your calendar if you are applying to guide an Achilles athlete in the NYC Marathon on November 1, 2015. 

The specific NYC Marathon Guide Application will go up on our website under the volunteer section beginning July 15th through August 14th.
Achilles Chapter Leaders: If you have members participating in the marathon who plan on running with guides from your chapter, please submit their guide application between July 1st and July 14th. Eleanor Cox and Gerle Shagdar will send you the specific link on July 1st.


Left to Right: Achilles CT Pub Night at Thomas Hooker Brewery  
Michael Lo Presti (Cigna Executive and Achilles guide) 
his wife 
Sara, Erin Spaulding, and her husband Michael.