BOSTON - The Boston Athletic Association is implementing a series of changes to the handcycle program of the Boston Marathon following a bombing survivor saying he felt unwelcome at the 2016 race.
Marathon survivor Marc Fucarile was the first finisher in the hand cycle division but said there was no recognition at the finish line, and has since heard derogatory comments from Boston Athletic Association leaders.
“They didn't want us there. They didn't want hand cycles there at all. That was the attitude,” Fucarile told FOX25.
BAA CEO Thomas Grilk apologized and on Wednesday, following media reports, the BAA outlined the changes they will make starting on Monday, April 17.
- Recognize handcycle participants at the start and finish of the race.
- Play the national anthem for the first-place male and female handcycle finishers.
- Work with public safety officials to address transportation logistics.
- Provide greater flexibility in the registration process and pre-race packet distribution.
- Allocate a monetary award to Achilles International to distribute in 2017 in accordance with the structure that it establishes.
- Increasing the handcycle field size for the 2018 Boston Marathon with a goal of not less than 60 participants.
BAA said that there are 30 handcycle entrants this year and it is working with Achilles International, the team Fucarile races with.
Fucarile told FOX25 he has accepted Grilk's apology and thinks that BAA made the right move. He's excited to see his friends and teammates on Monday.
Fucarile is fundraising for two organizations this year, the one being Team Achilles and the other being a comedy show to raise money to send children to Camp No Limits, which is a family camp for children with limb loss or difference.
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