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December 2007 - RNZFB Outlook Magazine Summer 2007
Mike Lloyd, Foundation member and also part of the Auckland Adaptive Technology team, completed the gruelling 42.2 kilometre New York marathon for the first time on 4 November.
Competing against more than 39,000 other entrants, Mike finished in 4 hours, 36 minutes and 48 seconds. He was well ahead of celebrity Katie Holmes, whose time was over five hours.
Mike was assisted by his brother Gavin, who ran with him through New York's culturally and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, finishing up at Tavern-on-the-Green in world-famous Central Park.
"It was just an awesome day," says Mike. "We spent the first few kilometres just running over discarded clothing, but once you're off the Staten Island Bridge, you're in the crowds and, man, are they great!"
"There were over 100 local bands along the course, people yelling, clapping, whistling and hitting or rattling anything that makes a noise. They are with you for the whole route, except when you are on a bridge."
"My legs had pretty much had it by the last few miles through Central Park, but the crowd support keeps you going. Getting through the other runners was the biggest challenge as it really slows you down, but it is just the best experience. I met some other blind contestants as well as people with other disabilities. New York really knows how to put on an event."
Mike ran in association with the Achilles Track Club, which helps people with disabilities take part in the New York City Marathon. To read the full story, visit his website: www.blindrunner.com