Do you remember Rocky Balboa climbing the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the sound of Rocky’s Theme? That is how I felt on Saturday as I observed the 100 men and women participating in the Beast on the Bay Adapted Course. There were people in wheelchairs, some assisted by their seeing-eye dogs, and others who were walking at slow, medium and fast paces. There was no right or wrong way to “Beat the Beast” – each of the participants was winning in their own, very special way. Cheered on by the many observers, there were smiles on their faces as they came to the finish line. Every contestant (whether you were on the full or adapted course) then received a “Beast” medallion as their award for “Beating the Beast.”
You may ask, why have an adapted course?
Barber National Institute celebrates the talents of all people in an inclusive community. Too often persons with disabilities are unable to participate in athletic challenges due to their limitations. So, as we developed the concept of the Beast on the Bay, first and foremost in our minds was the need for an adapted course. If you are involved with an athletic contest, we would be happy to share with you some of our experiences should you wish to offer an adapted course as well.
In conclusion, I send many thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and the over one thousand participants who made the “Beast” a success. Mark your calendars now for third annual Beast on the Bay September 5th. Ryan “beat the beast.” Next year, you, too can “Beat the Beast“!