And How Paralysis Is Not Stopping Him From Getting Back To The Start Line
The Rutgers Unite Half Marathon is going to be a big day for a lot of people, but it will be a really big day for one person in particular: Glenn Hartrick. Not many people will have the same experience, or feel the same emotions, as Glenn will once he crosses the finish line.
This year’s UNITE half marathon event will serve as Glenn’s “comeback” to the racing world after being struck by a car while training on his bike in June 2014. The accident left him paralyzed. Glenn’s personal record for the UNITE half marathon is 1:19:05. This year, Glenn’s not so sure how quickly his race chair will take him, but he will be hand cycling his way to the finish line to the best of his capabilities.
“Hand cycling is a new challenge for me, but unlike my first few times out running and at triathlons, I have a plan, the right equipment and the right training mindset,” Glenn explains about the challenge in front of him. And what exactly is his ‘mindset’? “Lets do this!”
Glenn has always been an athlete, but hasn’t always trained fully for his endeavors. Take his first marathon in 2006 for example, when he decided to cross the New York City Marathon off his bucket list after a lucky lottery acceptance. Like many new runners, he searched the internet for a ‘1st time marathoners’ training plan, followed it loosely, and winged it.
“I could barely walk/run the last six miles, but when I crossed the finish line, I was elated and said ‘NEVER AGAIN’!” Glenn finished in 4:04.
Since then, Glenn has dropped his marathon personal record to 2:57. Aside from racing in eight marathons, he has completed 5 Ironmans, 15 half Ironmans, 17 half marathons, 90+ multisport races, 65+ running events, and “quite a few” cycling events. Oh, and he won 19 triathlons, and was on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine.
Glenn was clearly lying to himself when he said “NEVER AGAIN” in 2006. And although his road to recovery has been far from easy, his positive attitude has kept him going and is what helps him prepare for UNITE half marathon on April 12th, which will mark 10 months to the day since his injury.
“I am working mentally and physically to be ready for my new challenges,” Glenn said.
He will be racing on team ‘Team 2Ns’/MAPSO Relentless Forward Motion (RFM), which is a team that is dedicated to raising funds for physically challenged athletes in New Jersey. RFM is a collaborative effort between the MAPSO TRI CLUB and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and 100% of donations raised go toward helping the New Jersey based para- and physically disabled athletes receive the support, equipment, and encouragement they need to ‘Get Back to the Start Line’. To date, the team has raised over $20,000.
“As I have always encouraged anybody looking to get started or back at it, the first step is to register for an event, put yourself out there, and with the support and encouragement of your friends, family and support groups, make it happen. And thats exactly what I did.”
Glenn trains about three days a week on his handcycle, and uses a CompuTrainer that was donated to him. As he trains for UNITE, he’s working on flatter courses to keep a smooth and consistent cadence to increase his power output.
“I still have a long way to go,” Glenn said. “But returning to the competitive area, and sports in general, aids myself and hopefully those around me in knowing that anything is possible!”
Glenn is a regular CGI Racing athlete -- he is an annual competitor in the NJ State Triathlon, and has run the UNITE Half Marathon a few times. He considers CGI events a “staple” in his regime. You can read more about Glenn on his website, or join us on April 12th as we cheer him on!
If you would like to donate to Relentless Forward Motion visit the Challenged Athletes Foundation.