TRI 3: LES AUTRE: INCLUDES ATHLETES WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY, CEREBRAL PALSY, DOUBLE LEG AMPUTEE RUNNERS OR PARALYSIS IN MULTIPLE LIMBS
This category encompasses a wide range of disabilities and
equipment. These athletes may ride regular bikes, adapted bikes, trikes, handcycles, etc. This category is pretty individualized based on each athletes’ particular needs. Athletes may use crutches, braces or prosthetics for the run portion.
TRI 4: ARM IMPAIRMENT: INCLUDING PARALYSIS, ABOVE ELBOW AMPUTEES AND BELOW ELBOW AMPUTEES, OR IMPAIRMENT IN BOTH UPPER LIMBS
Athletes may use prosthetics, a brace or a sling on the bike and/or
run. Some of these athletes will have their bikes customized so that all gearing and braking can be done from one side or the other. Some may bike with a prosthetic, while others will choose not to wear one. Many of these athletes will choose not to run with a prosthetic as it is just added weight. Those with a limb that does not function well may choose to put it in a sling so that it stays close to their body and out of the way.
TRI 5: SLIGHT LEG IMPAIRMENT: INCLUDING BELOW KNEE AMPUTEES
These athletes ride a bicycle and run with prosthesis. Many of
these athletes will use typical bikes. Amputees will use a running leg or running foot on the run portion, and those with leg impairment might simply use a brace or nothing at all.
TRI 6: VISUAL IMPAIRMENT: LEGALLY BLIND (20/200 VISION WITH BEST CORRECTIVE VISION)
A guide of the same sex is mandatory throughout the race.
Athletes must be tethered during the swim portion, with the tether around the waist, leg or foot. TRI 6 competitors ride a tandem bicycle with their guide as a pilot. During the run, athletes must use approved “black out glasses.” At no time may the guide “lead” or “pace” the athlete or propel the athlete forward in any way. The guide will be tethered to their athlete most likely with a bungee cord around the waist of the guide and athlete. Some athletes who are blind choose to simply hold their guides elbow, others use a shoe lace or string about 1-3 feet in length. It is a good idea to have a laminated sign that says “Blind Athlete/Triathlete” on the athletes’ back and/or a “Guide” sign on the guide’s back. This allows other athletes to know that they should not cut between the guide and the athlete.
Please note that many local community triathlons do not have
the same rules regarding black out glasses, handcycle angles, etc. Check with race directors to see if these rules apply.
Some resources for paratriathlon equipment are: • Athletes Helping Athletes: provides handcycles to youth under
age 18 with a physical disability http://bit.ly/tHJki4
• Challenged Athletes foundation: provides equipment and
training grants to athletes with physical disabilities http://www.challengedathletes.org
• variety Clubs: provides equipment for youth with disabilities
• Local Rotary and Lions Clubs
Keri Schindler has been working in the field of disabled sports for over 15 years serving youth, adults and injured service members with a physical or visual disability through sports and recreation. She started her career at the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, AL which is an Olympic and Paralympic training site. She has worked for Achilles International, a non profit aimed at getting individuals with disabilities to run marathons and is currently the Program Director of Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. Keri launched the dare2tri Paratriathlon club in January 2011 with grant funding from US Paralympics. This club currently has over 60 athletes involved and 80 volunteers.
page 8 | PERFORMANCECOACHING
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