Matt Tingley wins the handbike race
In a duel over many 26.2 miles of the event, Matt Tingley of Rochester Hills traded the lead with two contestants but ultimately took the lead to finish first in the Detroit Free disabled division. Sunday Press Marathon.
Tingley, 33, finished in 1:18:41, overtaking the field of 16 male hand cyclists and winning $ 600, after a tragedy-filled race that resulted in punctures and mechanical accidents for many participants.
Tingley was no exception.
âI hit a pothole and my chain broke,â he said.
Fortunately, one of the bicycle escorts guiding Tingley had the main link the right size to fit her chain. They made a quick repair and he was able to catch up with two competitors who had passed him, he said.
Tingley, injured in a motocross crash in Lake Orion, first attended the Free Press event in 2018, but said he has been training hard since then.
“Very good job there,” shouted cycle escort Scott Kroske from Birmingham to Tingley.
The escort with Tingley “just had an 11-speed main link in its tool bag, can you believe it?” said George Dubrish of Grosse Pointe Farms, a seasoned cyclist and director of the disability division.
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âHe was neck and neck with the No.2. And the second place guy had a flat tire, and they also made him continue. Our escorts did a great job today,â Dubrish said.
Dustin Baker, 41, of Fletcher, NC, who finished second with the problem tire, competed in his fifth free press event. His bicycle companions had carbon dioxide cartridges, and they used them repeatedly on his flat tire.
âWe would inflate it and it would let me go 2-3 miles, and then we would inflate it again, quickly, so I wouldn’t fall behind,â said Baker, a US Air Force veteran who seriously injured his. during Operation Northern Freedom, loading heavy equipment at an air base in Turkey. On Sunday, his second place was good for a price of $ 300.
Scoring a time of 1:21:19, Baker said, “It was the first marathon I have ever run. It inspires me to come back.”
He called this year’s course “a bit bumpy” and “a new challenge” because Detroit has installed speed bumps in many streets to deter speeding.
Travis Peruski, 42, from Linden is in third place with a time of 1:28:06. Peruski won the overall standings in 2017, another tainted race in which two riders ahead of Peruski had flat tires. Sunday, he won $ 150.
[ See how your favorite racer fared: Official times from Sunday’s Free Press Marathon ]
Another victim of a mechanical breakdown on Sunday was Mike Sprouse, 61, of Bowling Green, Ky. At the first kilometer, his right crank fell off.
âI wasted a good 10 to 15 minutes,â Sprouse said. He put the stray tube back in place with the help of his bike attendant Phil Saoud, 63, of Fraser. Still, with a broad smile, Sprouse said, “There are technical issues happening. I love this race.”
In Kentucky, he lives near the GM plant that assembles Chevrolet Corvettes.
âSo I can train on their test track. It’s a 3.2 mile road course, and they open it up for cycling on Tuesday evenings. During the summer months, there are around 300 bikes. “said Sprouse, adding,” GM is our primary sponsor “of the Achilles Freedom team, made up of approximately 60 wounded military veterans across the country. Sprouse, a former US Navy, is the team captain and was named Freedom Team Athlete of the Year.
In the women’s three handcyclist field, the winner was Leigh Sumner, 62, of Newton Grove, NC, with a time of 1:59:21.
Sumner, a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, was competing in his first free press marathon. She tweaked a reporter about the bumpy running course.
âWith your speed bumps, potholes and raised manhole covers, I told our race director it should have been called a hand-bike obstacle course,â he said. Sumner said, adding, “But that only made it more fun and challenging.” Sumner said she had “been deployed four times to the Middle East”. Sumner’s victory earned him a check for $ 600.
Corey Petersen, 40, of Glendale, Ariz., Was second in the women’s with a time of 2:08:53, which competed in his third free press event. She won a prize of $ 300.
This year’s course, omitting the climb to the Ambassador Bridge and the slopes of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, “was definitely flatter,” said Petersen.
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âBut even though I hate the hills, I’m doing fine,â she said with a wry smile. In 2019, she was the first woman to complete.
In third place, Laura Stark, 31, of Canton, with a time of 2:23:11 won her a prize of $ 150.
No athlete has started the Free Press marathon on racing wheelchairs. This apparently marks the first year of the event not having âwheelsâ at the start, said Ed Kozloff, founding race director of the marathon.
Kozloff, who was at Sunday’s race as a volunteer to oversee the distribution of special rewards, said he believed the Free Press marathon always had at least one wheelchair runner starting the race. In the old, much smaller Motor City Marathon, held in Belle Isle for 15 years before the inaugural year of the Free Press event in 1978, “even then we had a few wheels,” Kozloff said.
For Sunday’s race, eternal wheeler Andrew Barnhart, 65, of Reading, Mich., Was entered but did not run and could not be reached on Sunday. In 2019, Barnhart, faithful to his push-rim racing wheelchair, registered his 23rd straight start in the Detroit Marathon.
Contact Bill Laitner: [email protected]