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Wheel Run Together rolls into its 15th year

A benefit running race for Alternatives in Motion organized by GVSU PT students
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Wheelchair Athletes 2010 Wheel Run Together

Wheelchair Athletes 2010 Wheel Run Together

A lap on the GVSU track

A lap on the GVSU track

Good cause. Good route. Possibly good weather.

The 15th Annual Wheel Run Together Race is set for Saturday, April 2 on the campus of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and regardless of the weather, organizers are enthusiastic about the event. The 5k and 10k race also features a 5k and 1 mile fun walk. Wheelchairs and handchairs are always part of the mix.

The event is planned and managed by the GVSU Physical Therapy Doctorate students and it benefits the nonprofit Alternatives in Motion. The students who work regularly with physical therapy providers and durable medical equipment vendors secure sponsorships for the event. "Each year, senior PT students take this on as a class project," said Matt Chapman, director of marketing and special events for Alternatives in Motion. The connection between current PT students and alumni working in the field helps strengthen the connection.

“Throughout our careers we will be striving to enable people to use their bodies to the fullest capacity. We will be empowering them by providing the tools and skills needed to increase their independence. The benefits of this area are tightly related to our goals as physical therapists. Grand Valley’s Physical Therapy is proud to be part of this wonderful tradition,” said Sarah Rienzo, race co-chair and PT student. "This race is a great way to give back to the community."

For the last 13 years the organization has been the beneficiary of $55,000 in all. Alternatives in Motion provides wheelchairs for people that could otherwise not afford one or do not qualify for assistance. It refurbishes gently used chairs and distributes them to people in need.

Like most races, this one includes a shirt, but also a prize drawing (bring some cash) for entries to the 5/3 River Bank Run and the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon. Start time for Wheel Run Together is 10 a.m. and registration is online or the day of the event at the GVSU Fieldhouse starting at 8:30 a.m.

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