NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

June 22, 2013

A race memorializing Polletta

Adaptive athletes provide new feel to Salisbury race

(Continued)

Heather Mahoney, 30, of Westford, finished first in for the women with a time of 11:44.8, and Amy Bernard, 35, of Hampstead, NH, was second at 11:51.7.

Jared Howlane, 14, of Haverhill was running the race in a wheelchair along with the aid of a group of six people from Adaptive Sports Partners, including, Justin May-West, 24, of Portsmouth, NH.

“Normally we take this thing up mountains and on hiking trails,” May-West said of the racing chair Howlane was in. “So it’s rocks and uphill and everything. This is pretty easy so we just opened it up and jogged.”

“We were flying,” said Howlane.

Dave Smith was also assisting Howlane.

“This is a lot of fun to be out with a group,” said Smith. “This is my first time meeting Jared. I hope they will be coming up north to run with us (again) in a while.”

Shauna Roaf, 10, who is legally blind, ran the race with her teacher, Kim Sullivan, from Amesbury Elementary School. Although she took a fall on her knees at the beginning of the race, Roaf still finished with a time of 30:53.

“That was not a good time to fall,” said Roaf. “It was in the first part of it.”

“We’ve been running once a week for six weeks to get ready, and she was awesome,” Sullivan said of her student. “She was the best cheerer for all the runners on the race course. Everyone that went by, she yelled for.”

Jessica Mecheski, 36, of Salisbury was on her first Polletta Race and was familiar was the Ghost Trail.

“I run this all the time,” said Mecheski. “It’s a perfect (course). It’s a nice way to kickoff the weekend.”

Mecheski‘s friend, Merrill Thompson, 29, of Amesbury was also on her first Polletta Race.

“I love it,” Thompson said of the Polletta. “It makes me feel like I’m doing something good for the community, and it betters myself as well.”

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