Amputees, wheel-chair bound athletes heading for New York City marathon

Medal of Service (MS) awardees William France and Dennis Burns will lead a four-member team to the ING-sponsored New York City marathon to be held on November 2, in the United States of America.

Amputee-walker France, who has competed in some 22 marathons over the years, told Stabroek Sport that he would be calling it quits after this event.
France, now 51 years-old, said that he has been involved in the sport for over 16 years and his ageing body was telling him to quit.
He said he will now be concentrating on teaching differently-able athletes the art of participating in the sport of race walking.
The marathon, according to France, will be his ninth consecutive one and he will be accompanied by fellow amputee and former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldier Burns, his young amputee prodigy Andre Richardson and wheel chair  bound Audrey Bowlin.
Gillian Hassanah will accompany the team as guide for Bowlin.

The athletes will depart Guyana on October 28 for the USA and they will have four days of preparation before the event.
Meanwhile, the sixth annual William France fitness walk held on Sunday October 19, saw Bowlin winning the wheel chair bound category.

US Bound! From left, Amputee-walker, Dennis Burns, Audrey Bowlin (in wheelchair), chaperone and guide Gillian Hassanah and William France.
US Bound! From left, Amputee-walker, Dennis Burns, Audrey Bowlin (in wheelchair), chaperone and guide Gillian Hassanah and William France.

The event started at the Two Brothers Gas Station Eccles and ended at the Front View Shop Mocha Road head and saw Burns walking away with the overall trophy.
According to France, the race attracted more than 160 starters including 45 from the Seventh Day Adventists Pathfinders Club.

France added that trophies were also awarded to the youngest finisher, oldest male and female, amputees, wheel chair bound visually impaired and other categories.
Additionally, France was rewarded for his sterling contribution to the sport over the last 16 years and was presented with a plaque by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who also participated in the race.

The race was made possible through contributions from Neil Kumar,  Ramchand Auto Spares, Ray’s Auto Spares, Yassin’s  Auto Spares, Humphrey’s Bakery and Anand Persaud, Dental Technician.

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