Volunteer Opportunities for IM Able and RaceMates

Michael Whalen is coordinating race guides for adaptive athletes as part of the RaceMates program at a local event–the Bradley Mayer Memorial Running Man 5k–on August 14th in Wyomissing. If you are interested, please reach out to Michael at michaelwhalen102@gmail.com.

The IM ABLE Foundation is seeking volunteers to assist adaptive athletes participating in their GOT THE NERVE? triathlon being held in Lewisberry on Saturday, September 18th.

Volunteers are appreciated as members of a relay team or as a guide alongside an athlete throughout the race.

Thanks to a grant, there is no fee to participate as a member of a relay team or as a guide.

Volunteer opportunities are also available for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 21.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about these events, please email Brian Sutherland, IM ABLE’s development director, at brian@imablefoundation.org.

Race Mates in Birdsboro

On May 2nd, the Race Mates–a Pagoda Pacer / IM ABLE partnership–participated in their second race: the Birdsboro May Day 5k.

For this event, we had the honor of assisting four young men–Christopher Angstadt, Andrew Kutch, Jameson Parisi, and Collin Deckman–experience their first 5k.

Pacers Dale Wiest, Michael Whalen, Kris Jacoby, Matt Brophy, Steve Maguire, Joanne Van Horn, Bill Buchannan, and Liz Glass all volunteered as “chariot guides” to help these young men cover the distance and reach the finish line.

Lots of fun was had by all!

Coming up, we’ll be at the Pacers’ Grings Mill Run on August 1st, and possibly other races this summer.

If you’d like to volunteer with Race Mates, please reach out to Dale Wiest, Michael Whalen, or Kris Jacoby.

Dale: Wiesty58@gmail.com

Kris: sjacoby2@ptd.net

Michael: Michaelwhalen102@gmail.com

The Race Mates Are off and Running!

Prior to the pandemic changing everything running-related, Dale Wiest presented at a Pacers’ meeting the concept of our members volunteering to use adaptive joggers to allow athletes from the IMABLE Foundation to participate in local running races. The combination of the relaxation of social distancing rules, the Shiver by the River race going live, and a recent Pagoda Pacers monetary donation to IMABLE allowed Dale’s vision to become a reality. On April 11, 2021, Dale, Evan Falk, and Michael Whalen joined super athlete Brantlee Phillips at the starting line for a wet and cold 5K adventure. Brantlee enjoyed the speedbumps and puddles as he passed cheering road marshals, other athletes, and fans for a commendable 14th place finish. The three Pagoda Pacers Race Mates all agreed that this was an extraordinary experience. The first place overall female runner presented Brantlee with her large trophy!  Brantlee proudly wore his finisher’s medal to school the next day and was very proud of his accomplishment. It is reported that Brantlee has the “race bug” and is looking to compete again.

IMABLE Athlete Brantlee Phillips along with Race Mates Wiest, Whalen, and Falk (left to right)

The Race Mates program is in its infancy and we are hopeful to grow the program rapidly. IMABLE has purchased additional adaptive joggers and we are scheduled to assist four athletes on May 2, 2021. The goal of the program is to eliminate the barriers that prevent athletes from participating in running events. Currently the only races that will be considered are 5K or less, paved, or smooth rail-to-trail. There are many safety factors that need to be considered for this program.  All Pagoda Pacers are eligible to participate as a race guide or in other volunteer roles in the Race Mates program. Please contact Dale Wiest, Kristen Jacoby, or Michael Whalen if you are interested.

Dale: Wiesty58@gmail.com

Kris: sjacoby2@ptd.net

Michael: Michaelwhalen102@gmail.com