|Contact:||Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today presented Crystal Apples to the winners of the inaugural Achilles Marathon which took place this past Sunday, April 1st, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. The 26.2-mile marathon, organized by the Achilles Track Club, attracted nearly 2,000 participants, the largest number of people with disabilities to participate in a long-distance event alongside people without disabilities.
"I am pleased to present these Crystal Apples to these fine athletes," said Mayor Giuliani. "I am also proud that the inaugural Achilles Marathon took place here in New York City, attracting nearly 2,000 participants from around the world. This event raised thousands of dollars for non-profit organizations and we believe this will be an annual event for all New Yorkers to look forward to."
The Achilles Track Club was founded in 1983 and currently has 43 chapters across the United States, and with more than 110 chapters in 46 nations. Achilles encourages people with disabilities, including those with visual impairments, to participate in running events with able-bodied athletes. Last year 281 Achilles members finished the New York City Marathon.
Dick Traum, President and Founder of Achilles, said "The first Achilles Marathon was a lot of fun and meant a great deal to so many of us. It was fantastic how the City, its different agencies, and our sponsors came together to help make this event a success. We hope The Achilles Marathon becomes a jewel in the crown of the NYC Paralympics in 2012."
The following winners received Crystal Apples from the Mayor:
The following athletes were unable to attend today's ceremony:
The Mayor also presented Crystal Apples to, Dick Traum, Leslie Winter,
Executive Director of the Achilles Track Club, and Jeff Berman, Race Director of the inaugural Marathon.
The Achilles Marathon was a fundraising event with 100% of the proceeds raised going to local and national non-profits, as each marathoner, and each marathon team, raised money for the charitable organization of their choice. The total amount of the funds raised this past Sunday is expected to be released later this week.
The international event boasted teams from Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Jamaica, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Trinidad, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Founding sponsors of the race were Cushman & Wakefield, The United Way, and Continuum Health Partners.