Wheelchair Racer To Take Part In Marathon Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas (January 14, 2015) – Josh Tate is about to make history. The 27-year-old Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania resident will be the first independent wheelchair racer ever to take part in the upcoming 6th Annual Marathon Bahamas.

He’s also making his own personal history as this will be his first marathon.

Tate, who has been in a wheelchair since May 2009, started doing triathlons along with his wife, Samantha in 2013. He later decided to take things to the next level.

“I had wanted to do triathlons before my accident, but it wasn’t until my wife signed us up that I did more than just talk about doing one,” Tate said.

“We finished our 2014 season in September and then I received a coupon from active.com for $10 off a marathon in The Bahamas and I was intrigued. Completing a marathon has been a distant goal for both of us for a while, but neither of us had put much thought or work towards it. My wife and I decided to go for it. What better place to recover from the exertion of a race than a gorgeous beach in the tropics. We started training and here, one week before the race, we feel like we are ready to run our first marathon. We’ve never been to The Bahamas before and we are planning on enjoying the island afterwards.”

Tate’s journey to the start line has been everything but smooth. Nearly six years ago he was on a backyard zip line when it broke and he fell eight feet.

“I’m an incomplete injury and I’m so thankful I can still use my arms and hands as much as I can. I had always been athletic and independent, but after my accident I’ve had to work hard to be independent and I’ve worked ever harder to be able to complete triathlons and hopefully a marathon shortly,” he said.

“I started pushing my everyday chair, running four to five times a week, increasing mileage weekly and doing one long run a week, then I switched to a racing chair once I finally got it set up well enough. I actually just mirrored the training program my wife picked up and altered for her accelerated training. Neither of us had done running anywhere near marathon distance before three months ago. We have been training for triathlons for the last year or two but it wasn’t as big of a part of our lives as it has been since October.”

Tate says while he’s eager to visit The Bahamas for the first time, he’s most excited to take part in the marathon with his wife.

“She has been very diligent in her training and has been a constant motivator for me. I’m proud of her and excited to be attempting to achieve this with her,” he said. “This will be my first marathon. My family is excited for me, but they seem to also think I’m a little nuts.”

While Marathon Bahamas doesn’t have a Push Rim Wheelchair Division, organizers say they will accommodate Tate and hope this will be the “start of something great.”

Marathon Bahamas takes place on Sunday, January 18 at 6:00 a.m. starting at Junkanoo Beach.

To register or for more information, visit, www.marathonbahamas.com.

CAPTION: Josh Tate is shown in his handcycle. He plans on using a racing chair when he participates in Marathon Bahamas on Sunday. (Photo/Jeffrey Tate)