Racing Toward Opportunity

Share this

MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The Super H 5K Run, Walk, and Wheel proves that races aren’t just for running. Started in 2004, Super H 5K participants can run, walk, handcycle, use a recumbent bike, or race in a wheelchair for a great cause.

After a Washington, D.C. area resident Harry Freedman lost his leg in an accident, his friends and family founded the Super H 5K race to raise money for him while he was at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRN). Since then, Harry’s family and friends have kept the race going to benefit the MedStar Adaptive Sports Program—a program aimed to increase participation in sports among people with physical disabilities.

“The first year, I got Harry in a handcycle so he could participate in the race,” says Joan Joyce, recreation therapy coordinator at MedStar NRN.

The Adaptive Sports Program:

  • Provides coaching, training, equipment and travel assistance in nine sports
  • Offers circuit training, open gym and cardio fitness classes both at the hospital and in the community
  • Hosts adaptive sports tournaments and special events

The Super H 5K has grown over the years and now raises more than $40,000 a year. Race participants include former patients, employees and community residents, with more than 300 participants a year.

“This race is our biggest fundraiser of the year for the Adaptive Sports Program,” attests Tricia Nelson, recreation therapist at MedStar NRN.

Nelson also coaches the MedStar NRN wheelchair rugby team, saying she is dedicated to making the Adaptive Sports Program the greatest of its kind in the country.

“The race is motivational and demonstrates what good health and wellness programs can do to keep those with disabilities functioning at their highest level of performance,” says Vice President of Medical Affairs at MedStar NRN Michael Yochelson. “It allows you to see what someone with a disability can do with the support of rehabilitation services and appropriate equipment. This effort demonstrates our deep commitment to our patients and the community, and continues to be a great way to get our employees engaged in supporting our programs and the individuals they serve.”

Please visit MedStar NRN’s website to register for the next scheduled Super H 5K Run, Walk and Wheel Race.