NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local wheelchair racer Hermin Garic placed first in the pushrim division in the Miami Marathon Sunday, February 2, 2014 with an approximate time of 2:07:18.
"I didn't finish under two hours like I had hoped, but being my first race this season, it gave me a good baseline as I move forward with my training," said Garic.
Garic said he ran into some technical difficulties with an axel on his racing chair at mile 13, but other than that, he felt he had a strong race.
This was Garic's second 26.2-mile road race, following his completion of the New York City Marathon in November.
Garic, a member of Sitrin's STARS (Success Through Adaptive Recreation & Sports) Program, has been road racing since he was 14 years old and placed second in the Boilermaker Wheelchair Division the last two years. With the goal of someday winning the Boilermaker, Garic has set out to expand his racing experience by facing new competitors and conditions. Garic is working to increase his national exposure and hopes to someday participate in the Paralympics.
Garic came to the United States with his family in 2000. While previously living in Bosnia, Garic was in an accident and suffered a severe spinal cord injury, losing the use of his legs at the age of four.
The Sitrin Health Care Center is assisting Garic in his quest to become a top racer through training, coaching and even financial support. As one of ten charities chosen for last year's Boilermaker Charity Bib Program, Sitrin was able to raise funds to help cover the costs of specialized equipment, training and travel for athletes with physical disabilities, such as Garic.