Boilermaker 2018 - A story of perseverance for West Winfield man

West Winfield resident A.J. Timperlake broke a hip while competing in the Sitrin Wheelchair Challenge during Sunday's Boilermaker Road Race but continued on and completed the course.

Posted: Jul 9, 2018 6:37 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2018 5:22 PM

Utica, N.Y. - The 2018 Boilermaker may be best remembered for the perseverance of 40-year-old A.J. Timperlake of West Winfield.


Timperlake suffered a spinal cord injury four years ago during an ATV accident. He has since been working with the staff at Sitrin Health Care Center's STARS (Success Through Adaptive Recreation and Sports) program for individuals with physical disabilities.

On Sunday, Timperlake competed in the Sitrin Wheelchair Challenge in this year's Boilermaker. It was the first time he competed in the event, which provides a racing wheelchair to the participant who can complete the Boilermaker 15K in 2 hours and 15 minutes or less, in his or her own wheelchair that they use at home everyday.

Timperlake completed the 9.3-mile course on Sunday in just over 1 hour 51 minutes, meaning he will get his brand new racing wheelchair sometime in September, but it's how he got to the finish line that is getting praise from so many people.

Timperlake fell forward in his chair with just over a mile to go in the race along Champlin Avenue. He was quickly attended to, but decided just as quickly to get back in his chair and continue on.

During the fall, he thought he might have broken his hip -- and it turns out he did -- but he rode that last one-mile-plus in grand style anyway.

Boilermaker Medical Director Dr. John Detraglia addressed Timperlake's perseverance during Monday morning's post Boilermaker press conference.

"He was pretty courageous through the whole thing," Detraglia said. "I happen to to know this fella a little bit, he really toughed it out for this, I admired that."

Marc DePerno, Director of the Sitrin STARS program has worked with Timperlake ever since his accident four years ago. DePerno says he wasn't surprised to see A.J. coming down Court St. finishing the race.

"I think it's all perspective on life. A.J., having gone through a life situation where he was an active able-bodied individual, experienced a spinal cord injury and now with kind of different mobility with a device using a wheelchair, I don't think that changed his spirit obviously, his mental fortitude, he knew what he wanted to do, he had a goal, he was driven and directed, he accomplish that goal, he conquered the challenge and he's going to get a racing chair."

There is word yet on when Timperlake will have surgery on his hip.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2402248

Reported Deaths: 55131
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31959210747
Queens30648510159
Suffolk2292863524
Nassau2078153259
Bronx2024086699
New York1625484608
Westchester1412202329
Erie998891887
Richmond859791908
Monroe787671157
Orange54852887
Rockland51090769
Onondaga46538722
Dutchess33960487
Albany28708369
Oneida26148553
Niagara22357385
Broome22102386
Saratoga18595191
Ulster16449272
Schenectady15434217
Rensselaer13483155
Putnam1192896
Chautauqua11190158
Oswego9862102
Chemung9277146
St. Lawrence9072119
Ontario864299
Steuben8633160
Cayuga8013101
Sullivan787982
Jefferson760171
Wayne709978
Cattaraugus683399
Genesee6176131
Herkimer6078117
Tompkins602459
Clinton583034
Madison549098
Fulton543398
Livingston526467
Montgomery5189133
Cortland489471
Warren476977
Columbia4719109
Tioga448467
Chenango424586
Otsego421351
Allegany407793
Washington403165
Greene401283
Wyoming395654
Orleans373584
Franklin364716
Lewis325236
Delaware313341
Seneca250659
Schoharie210320
Essex197729
Yates141926
Schuyler131116
Hamilton4093
Unassigned13835
Out of NY0292
Utica
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 65°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 65°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 65°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Follow the 2021 Go the Distance Team - sponsored by Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
Chapter Photofacial Therapy Giveaway
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve