NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Adaptive Sports Foundation had a total of seven runners representing its organization, the most it has ever had, in this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, which took place on Sunday, November 6.
Scott Blutstein, Brian Kelly, Laura Liebman, Jordane Mink, Kevin O’Donovan, Lori Tietjen and Patricia Won each proudly donned the ASF logo on their chest while running 26.2 miles through New York City’s five boroughs.
Tietjen and Liebman have been running partners for years, and they decided that this was the year they tackle their first marathon, as long as they could run with an organization that had impacted their life. “My son Wes has been a participant in the ASF for 10 years. It’s been an amazing experience for all of us, not just Wes, but as a family,” Tietjen said. “I didn’t know that the ASF used the marathon as a fundraising mechanism. When we found out we could run with the ASF, I decided that this was it, we’re going to do it and we’re going to do it in support of the Adaptive Sports Foundation.”
Of course, Tietjen gives credit to the one who inspires her the most. “My son Wes is always my inspiration behind pretty much everything I do,” Tietjen explained. “He’s probably my one and only fan as far as running goes. I feel like everything I do in life somehow has him incorporated in it, so he’s always my inspiration and my motivation for doing good things.”
Blutstein, an active ASF volunteer instructor, was more than happy to represent the ASF on Sunday. “The ASF is my second home, I now call many fellow volunteers and participants close friends,” he explained. “When I heard the opportunity was available to run in the NYC Marathon and support ASF, I didn’t hesitate to jump on the chance.
“There’s a community at the Adaptive Sports Foundation that can’t be replicated. It brings so many different types of people together, different professions, different walks of life, so for me it’s a whole other skiing family,” Blutstein said after being asked why representing and volunteering for the ASF means so much to him. “I genuinely enjoy being there and contributing, as well as learning and growing from being a part of ASF.”
This was Blutstein’s second NYC Marathon appearance, and the unusual high temperatures made this one more challenging, as he described this marathon as a “battle.”
“The first thing I did after finishing was call my sister and her family, they came to the marathon to cheer me on, so my first call was to them to thank them,” Tietjan said. “My second call of course was to my husband and my son. They were very excited for me, and they never doubted me. I wanted to thank the people in my life that have supported me.”
Not only did all seven ASF runners complete the marathon, but they also raised money for the Adaptive Sports Foundation, totaling over $26,000 in donations at the time of writing. The fundraising pages are still open and accepting donations, so if you would like to congratulate these runners for crossing the finish line by supporting their page, click here.
The Adaptive Sports Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides profound and life changing experiences for children and adults with physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities and chronic illnesses through outdoor physical activity, education, support and community. If you’d like to help support the ASF’s mission of “empowering lives through adaptive sports”, click here.