A group called Athletes Serving Athletes is a nonprofit that makes sure anyone whose heart is in racing, even if their legs aren’t, can get out and compete.
“He will get you through any race. He is the most positive, encouraging young men I’ve ever met,” said Christina Beaverson, a coach with Athletes Serving Athletes.
The finish line can be fickle and unforgiving, but when Danny Marulanda gets out of his chair to cross, he knows no pain.
“I was thinking that I won,” said Marulanda.
Danny is 37 — the same age as The Harrisburg Mile — and he’s never let his cerebral palsy slow him down. So far, he has competed in a biathlon, duathlon, and a triathlon with the help of Athletes Serving Athletes.
“It gives you the confidence to do it actually and finish,” said Marulanda.
“We are a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities compete in mainstream endurance events, anything from the mile up through marathons and we even do multi-sport,” said Beaverson.
The group is celebrating 10 years and participates in more than 30 events yearly, but in order to keep racing, they need help.
“We are always looking for legs, young, old, fast, slow — we don’t care. We will take anybody. Anybody who is willing to lend their legs or lungs or just cheer us on, we’ll take any support we can get,” said Beaverson.
Their motto is “Together We Finish,” and even though they might not be the fastest on the course, they say they have the most drive.
“You can do anything you want to do if you just try hard, and don’t give up,” said Marulanda.
“We are a team and we finish together no matter or how fast or slow. We never leave an athlete behind or a wingman behind. We’re a team,” said Beaverson.