Matt Brown lives his life by one motto: “Never quit.”
So, when the organizers of the New York City Marathon barred him and his longtime friend, Army veteran Lucas Carr, from competing in the race as a team, that’s exactly what he did.
Brown, a 19-year-old Norwood, Mass., native who was paralyzed during a high school hockey game in 2010, has completed multiple marathons and half-marathons — including the 2012 Boston Marathon — with Carr pushing him in a modified wheelchair.
When the duo received word that they would not be able to compete in New York (the marathon allows only those who can propel themselves), Brown and Carr fought back.
“We’re one unit,” Brown told WBZ-TV. “We may look like a team, but we compete as one unit.”
“It’s telling me and Matt, ‘No, you can’t do this,’ and that’s discrimination,” Carr said. “It doesn’t make him less of a person just because I push him.”
Their appeal was successful, and on Thursday the New York Road Runners — the marathon’s organizing committee — announced that they would allow the two to compete, issuing the following statement:
“We work very hard to accommodate participants overcoming great odds to compete in the ING New York City Marathon, and NYRR is allowing Mr. Carr and Matt Brown in the race this year given our special efforts to recognize and show solidarity with Boston. We are working on details on how best to accommodate them and ensure the safest and best race for all of the more than 45,000 participants.”
The marathon, which takes runners through each of New York’s five boroughs, is scheduled for Nov. 3.
Photo via Twitter/@Ferknuckle