Lazy Lobster lends mobility impaired athletes a hand
You don't have to be able to run to race.
The local chapter of MyTeam Triumph, a national organization that helps disabled athletes, held its first ever Lazy Lobster race in Wareham on Sunday, June 16.
The event kicked off with a kids "fun run," and then the grown-ups chose between running a five- or ten-mile course, both of which started and ended at the John W. Decas Elementary School.
"Our race benefits MyTeam Triumph, and basically it'll help us buy more racing [wheel]chairs," said Mary Nogueras.
Nogueras is a founding member of the Massachusetts chapter of MyTeam Triumph. She was a member of the Virginia Beach chapter with running team Rick and Dick Hoyt — the famous Boston Marathon team. Seventy-three-year-old Dick pushes his son, Rich, in a wheelchair during races. Together, they've run almost 1,200 races.
"Right now we're doing road races and it's on the Cape, South Coast and Metro West," said Nogueras.
Nogueras' 6--year-old son is living with cerebral palsy, which can effect a person's mobility, ability to speak, and other things. Her son ran the race without the benefit of a wheelchair, and she says that he started out on a bike.
"He actually runs his own races," said Nogueras. "He started riding exclusively and he was inspired to run," after watching others do it.
Anne Marie Winchester is on the board of MyTeam Triumph and works for South Shore Race Management, which organized the event.
"It's just a nice group of people," said Winchester. "They don't take things for granted. They're grateful for every accomplishment."
Donna Destefano was selling merchandise at the race, where her 24-year-old son, who lives with cerebral palsy, was participating in the race. She says he's been involved since the Massachusetts chapter began, and has run eight or nine races since then.
She said that after his first race he was "ecstatic. He was ecstatic and he wanted to do more."
She noted that the races help him to feel more included.
"He thinks it's the greatest thing," she said.
Destefano said that although various groups provide places for people with disabilities to socialize, the nature of the individual's disabilities varies to such a great extent that it can inhibit one's ability to make new friends.
"Even when you've got an organization that provides that, it's hard to find someone with a similar disability," she noted.
The winners are listed below:
Five mile race
1st male: Mike Norton,East Falmouth, MA
2nd male: Michael Ferrari, Mansfield, MA
3rd male: James Hardy, Jr, Boston, MA
1st female: Emma Ryan, Norwood, MA
2nd female: Maureen McNally, Clintwood, MA
3rd female: Emily Bolton, Manchester, MA
Ten mile race
1st Male: Kevin Burke, West Wareham, MA
2nd male: Peter Spagone, East Bridgewater, MA
3rd male: Frank Celli, Saint Peters, MO
1st female: Joni Beauvais, Holyoke, MA
2nd female: Darnyl Dasilva, Rochester, MA
3rd female: Emma Spencer, Falmouth, MA