Colours Wheelchair Paraplegic Athlete Matt Strugar-Fritsch to Compete in the Long Beach Marathon on His Adaptive Hand Cycle

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Matt Strugar-Fritsch, 25 years old from Carmichael, CA will be competing in the Long Beach Marathon located in Long Beach, California. This will Matt's fourth marathon to compete in. Strugar-Fritsch, like many athletes, has set his sight on many goals. He wants to win a marathon, compete in as many bicycle races as he can, and get back to the mountain bike trails he used to spend his summer days navigating. Strugar-Fritsch was well on his way to these goals as an able-bodied athlete, and though he lost the use of his legs in a mountain bike accident, the drive and determination burn brighter as he faces new challenges every day.

Strugar-Fritsch and his friends were riding their mountain bikes down the face of a mountain. While doing a stunt off an eight-foot cliff, a stunt he had successfully maneuvered many times before, Strugar-Fritsch landed awkwardly on his front tire, went flying over his handlebars, and shattering two vertebras in the process.

He uses a custom made hand cycle. A hand cycle is propelled by rotating the crank with hands, rather than feet. Usually there is one wheel up front and two, smaller wheels in the back. After plenty of practice, Strugar-Fritsch says he can maintain a 15-16 mph pace on the road, passing many able-bodied riders in races. His training consists of riding his hand cycle 50 miles each week. Strugar-Fritsch rides hand cycles to raise awareness about the life-changing programs offered by Disabled Sports USA. An organization that he is also the spokesperson for.

Matt Strugar-Fritsch will be racing in the Long Beach Marathon on October 12, 2008 at 7:30 AM. His goal is to finish the marathon in one hour and thirty minutes averaging 17.5 miles per hour. Among racing his hand cycle Matt Strugar-Fritsch is also whitewater kayaking, whitewater rafting and doing downhill and cross-country skiing.

The Colours Wheelchair company makes the most innovative manual wheelchairs and wheelchair accessory items on the market. Colours is constantly searching for ways to improve the lifestyle of the disabled and surrounding communities. We realize the importance of mobility, but respect the need for groovy, great-stylin' manual wheelchairs. This is more than a mere wheelchair for mobility - this is a lifestyle!

If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule and interview with Matt Strugar-Fritsch, please contact John Gunnar Box.

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