Yesterday in Central Park was a day for walking, running and racing. Achilles International hosts a five mile Hope & Possibility Race each year that takes place at 67th and Central Park West. There were three races as part of the day, including a five mile Opening Ceremony race, a five mile wheelchair race and a third five mile run. It includes over 5000 participants and over 3000 spectators.
Achilles International is a non-profit organization with chapters in over 70 countries. They provide athletes around the world who are disabled with a community and with support. Runners train with able-bodied volunteers, gaining physical strength and emotional support.
Achilles also has special programs for children and for war veterans. The Achilles Kids program has training, racing and in-school opportunities for kids with disabilities, while the Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans program offers running and marathon opportunities for disabled veterans who return from Iraq and Afghanistan.
9th Annual Hope & Possibility
The 9th Annual Hope & Possibility event yesterday raised money for Achilles International while providing an opportunity for disabled individuals to enjoy the race. Talk show host Jon Steward and actor Anthony Edwards were there to show their support.
The event included 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards in 9 different categories and prize money for 1st place Male and Female winners in each category. In addition, kids aged 2-16 were encouraged to run, walk or wheel a 100yd, 200yd or 400 yd dash, or to run or walk the 5 mile race with a parent.
The Hope & Possibility was first held in 2002 and was inspired by Trisha Meili’s best-selling memoir, “I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope & Possibility.” In addition to the New York race, there is also a Hope & Possibility in Madison, Wisconsin.