PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Not everyone competing in the Pittsburgh Marathon will be running. There’s a group of local handcyclists who will compete in the wheelchair division.
Ashli Molinero was born with Spina Bifida, but she races in marathons with a three-wheeled handcycle.
She placed third in both the Los Angeles and New York City Marathons.
“I tell everybody, my bike is my happy place,” said Molinero.
Bryan McCormick will also compete on Sunday.
He was injured in a skiing accident.
Both Molinero and McCormick train with a group called Achilles International Pittsburgh.
It encourages people with disabilities to compete in athletics. Volunteers assist in their training, and the group even gave McCormick his handcycle.
“I owe them a lot,” said McCormick.
Monica Michna created the Pittsburgh chapter of Achilles International because her fiancé was injured while serving in Afghanistan.
“I really didn’t have a passion for people with disabilities until it affected my own life,” said Michna, who was recognized by KDKA Radio earlier this year as one of Larry Richert’s Hometown Heroes.
“Creating something and watching it affect others’ lives in a positive way is really moving for me,” said Michna.