Two events on same day show Penn State Health’s commitment to adaptive sports

A man and a woman in leotards raise the arms on a gymnasium floor. The man in a wheelchair, bows at the waist. Behind them several people snap photos on cell phones or applaud.

American Dance Wheels Foundation members perform a wheelchair dance at RECFest 2018.

Credit: Penn State Health

Back-to-back Penn State Health events on May 18 in Lebanon and Dauphin counties are tailor-made to support and honor local adaptive sports athletes.

The first, taking place on the steep, forested hillsides of Mount Gretna, is the Got the Nerve? Triathlon. The 16th annual event will get underway at 8 a.m. One thousand race participants will take a 750-meter swim across Mount Gretna Lake, a 16-mile bike ride on country roads and a 5K run throughout the countryside.

Some of the racers will use specialized equipment geared to help them clear a physical hurdle. Proceeds from the race support the IM ABLE Foundation, a local charity that helps adaptive athletes pay for their gear.

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As the racers in Mount Gretna cross the finish line, things will just be heating up at RecFest 2019. The annual adaptive sports festival is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the campus of Penn State Harrisburg.

The event pairs experts in adaptive life skills and sports and recreation with local residents. Admission is free.

Participants will receive information about resources for driving programs, employment, hand cycling, orthotics and prosthetics, service dogs, quad rugby, scuba diving, sled hockey, tai chi, wheelchair fencing and more.

Penn State Health is the main sponsor of both events.