Triathletes and children with disabilities ‘Push to the Finish’

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-12 18:54:35-04

COALVILLE, Utah -- Finishing a triathlon is an accomplishment relatively few athletes achieve.

Saturday, a group of runners wanted to share in their victory by bringing children with disabilities along for the ride.

“We always want our children to feel like they can accomplish great things,” said Carla Thorne.

This is 10-year-old Reese Thorne's 65th race, but his first real triathlon.

Reese has cerebral palsy and a genetic disorder that caused a malformation in the brain stem and cerebellum.

“Reese would never be able to run," Thorne said of her son. "He's never going to be able to ride a bike. He's never going to be able to swim. But they can do that for him, and I think that's got to be a great feeling."

The organization is called “Push to the Finish” and their mission is to gives kids a chance to be part of something challenging. Amber Foster volunteers with the program and spoke about its purpose.

“I think it's important with these guys who have disabilities that they feel they have value," Foster said. "People can look at what they are capable of, and I think as they do this it lets other parents know who might have kids with disabilities that their kids can do great things too.”

For the athletes it's a unique challenge to push and pull the kids while covering so much ground, but it also takes mental endurance for the kids. The participants say it's all worth it when they cross the finish line.

“Just letting them participate and feel included, and the excitement, and when we came in and everyone was clapping for him, it was a really awesome thing,” said Alex Fox, who is an athlete and father.

For more information about Push to the Finish, visit their website.