Triathlete Glenn Hartrick will make history this weekend, when becomes the first paralyzed person to complete the New York City Marathon, Business Insider reports. Hartrick has run over 175 races, twice becoming an IRONMAN All-World Athlete, and was even on the cover of Runner's World Magazine's body issue. But his life changed when he was hit by a car a car hit on a training ride in 2014, paralyzing him from the chest down.
After the car hit him, Hartrick spent a month in the hospital and two more at a rehab clinic to recover from nine broken ribs, two collapsed lungs, a broken jaw, broken scapula, and blood clots in both of his legs.
"I had the mentality of the overused cliche 'life is a marathon, not a sprint,' and I really took that to heart," Hartrick told BI. "It seemed like an insurmountable mountain to climb at the moment and then all of a sudden I'm making progress [in my recovery], and that gave me motivation, just like it did when I ran my first marathons."
Racing saved him. He told himself he'd be at the 2015 NYC Marathon as a means of motivation, and he even started using the handcart at the hospital to start training. Not only did he race in the 2015 NY Marathon, but he finished tenth in the handcycle division. He finished No. 5 the following year, and started racing in triathlons again. Now he's back this Sunday, and he's set to become the first person to ever finish the NYC Marathon in the open, handcycle, and push rim (which he's doing for the first time) divisions.
"There is not a better day in New York than marathon Sunday," Hartrick said. "It was my first marathon back in 2006, and it was my first comeback race back in 2015. Now to be able to do it in a racing chair knowing how far I've come, I really think I'm helping to prove that anything is possible."