Achilles Heel
August 2015


It's summertime and we are preparing for our October 29th Gala which precedes the New York City Marathon. At this point, 22 tables have been sold and we anticipate a sell-out event. The theme for the dinner is "Achilles Heroes." These are Achilles members and volunteers who have participated in our sport and have achieved additional goals as well as inspiring others. 

Thinking back through the years, people will finish 26 miles, look towards the finish line a few hundred yards away, and think: "what am I doing this for?" Another common reaction is: "I'll never do this again!" A few minutes later, with a medal around their necks, there are similar but very different thoughts. The person who has completed a 4:12 marathon is thinking: "I wonder if I can break four hours next year!" The person running his or her first marathon is thinking: "Never in my life did I believe I could run 26.2 miles. What else can I accomplish?"


This is probably the most important thought that anyone has because it generates additional goals and achievements. It is also supported by the "Halo Effect." People see you not as an average person, or someone with a disability, but as a "Marathoner" and a "Hero." The reaction of others to you is different and more positive. You have a HALO. Goals are more easily achieved because others around you know you can do it! These successes have generated 100's of Achilles Heroes! People who typically complete a marathon say: "What's next?" and succeed again. Think of it as an addiction to achievement. I believe this experience of self-empowerment is one of the most important things for you and society.


On October 29th, we will congratulate ten of our Achilles Heroes at the Gala and continue to acknowledge others in the future. Come join us on October 29th and meet our 2015 heroes. For more information, check our Website or contact Sarah Green.



New York Triathlon


Congratulations and Thank You to each and every one of the Achilles family who participated in the NYC triathlon the weekend of July 19th. Over 30 team members made up of athletes, guides, handlers, charity entrants and Achilles angels-behind- the-scenes made this another exceptional weekend powered by heart and Gatorade.


It was a day of celebrating the achievement of remarkable feats! Our Achilles members made a 1500 meter swim in the Hudson, 26-mile ride up and down the West Side Highway, and a celebratory 10 km run through Central Park on a scorching hot day look easy.


Thank you to our sponsors WorkLiveTri, The JCC of Manhattan, and Champion System for their support and encouragement. We couldn't have done it without you!




Achilles Kids has been running all summer and enjoying every minute! After a hugely successful experience at the Hope & PossibilityŽ 5 Mile Race, the kids are looking forward to competing in the Fifth Avenue Mile in September and the Dash to the Finish in November. We will also have a team of our NY Athletes running in the Disneyland series of races sponsored by Cigna! Cigna and Achilles Kids are truly together all the way.


In other exciting developments several of our Achilles Kids have been attending the Tuesday evening workouts with their adult Achilles counterparts. It has been so exciting to watch our kids grow and learn and adopt running as part of their life!


Upcoming dates:
September 13
th - Fifth Avenue Mile

October 31st - Dash to the Finish


TOM'S RUN FOR ACHILLES KIDS - keep a look out for Tom "Running Man" McGrath again this year. He is running for Achilles Kids for the third year in a row. Starting September 28th through October 2nd, Tom will run 100 miles for Achilles Kids! More exciting details to follow.




Our Volunteer of the Month is John Eng. Inspired by Bill Reilly ("Backwards Bill"), John has been a volunteer for over ten years and a constant presence at workouts and events. Thank you, John!


"People with disabilities want to be treated like anyone else. Being supportive and patient is just as important as the physical aspects of guiding." - John Eng


To read more about John, please click here.


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

Chapter Happenings &
Upcoming Events in August




Both the North and South groups of the Boston Chapter continue meeting on Friday nights and Saturday mornings respectively. There is the Health and Fitness road race on Martha's Vineyard on August 16th 



Rio Marathon, Half Marathon and 6K took place on July 26th. With a total of 26,000 participants, Achilles Brazil had 90 people representing Athletes with Disabilities (AWD) -- Ten in the half-marathon using handcycles. The first three AWD runners received trophies and prize money. Congratulations to everyone!


Achilles Brazil invites anyone interested in joining next year (you need to pay your airfare, etc). The 2016 Rio Marathon will be on May 29th.



Achilles Brooklyn's Michael Ring who'd been a guide says the transition to Achilles athlete was easier than expected. In what seems like a short time, he has gone from wheelchair to walker. Last Thursday, Michael walked the Brooklyn workout using one forearm crutch for support. He's training for 2016 NYC Marathon and plans to run the 5th Avenue Mile in September.



Kimberly Virden, president of our Madison, Wisc. Chapter competed in the USATF Masters Nationals in Jacksonville, Fla., in July. Kim won three gold medals: Discus, Weight Throw and Javelin. She also took home silver in the Hammer and bronze in the Shot Put. Well done, Kim!



Achilles Nashville reports all its 2015 NYC Marathon athletes are four weeks into training plans and doing great!



  • September 13th: Fifth Avenue Mile
  • September 28th - October 2nd: Tom McGrath's 100 Mile Ultra-Marathon Run for Achilles Kids

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


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 is on our website under the volunteer section through August 14th.

Above: Achilles Brazil guide Mario Rollo, with two jubilant 2015 Rio Marathon finishers, 


Photo credits: many of our photos are courtesy of the great, talented, always helpful and very dedicated, Larry Sillen. Thank you, Larry!