WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Making a running start toward the races later that weekend, the Air Force Marathon’s Health & Fitness Expo will feature its second Amputee Mobility Clinic from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 in McLin Gym at the Nutter Center.
The clinic, partnering with Optimus Prosthetics, offers support and training to anyone with limb loss, from those just learning to run to athletes looking to pick up speed and skills.
“The Air Force Marathon is a very unique and highly attended event in the Miami Valley that celebrates both health and heroes,” said Andrea Kinsinger, physical therapist and gait specialist at Optimus. “Everyone needs hope and the ability to pursue their own unique desires. I am so excited to offer a clinic to help those with limb loss learn or enhance their ability to run. Running for an amputee is a very specialized (activity), and I am thrilled to be a part of teaching them this skill.”
While Kinsinger teaches a starter group for beginners, triathlete and Paralympic gold medalist Grace Norman will lead a performance group coaching on topics such as technique, pacing, training and nutrition.
Norman, a Miami Valley native and longtime patient and partner with Optimus, was diagnosed with congenital constriction band syndrome of the left leg at birth. The runner has been collecting international medals in track and paratriathlon events since age 16.
She returns to the mobility clinic after speaking at its Air Force Marathon debut in 2019.
“This is a great opportunity to partner with Grace and help our amputee runners learn skills to improve their athleticism, specifically from another who experiences it and has excelled as a lower-extremity amputee,” said Rachael Ferguson, director of the Air Force Marathon.
“Everyone has a story, and those who are lower-extremity amputees are no exception. We value them not just as participants in our event, but also as those who have served our country or are part of our community as a whole. We want to offer something for everyone to be able to enjoy and improve their knowledge and skills.”
Anyone interested in the free event can register at https://register.usafmarathon.com. Click “Register” on the right-hand side of the page, log in or create an account, and find “Amputee Lower Extremity Running Clinic.”
The 2022 Air Force Marathon is scheduled for Sept. 17. Additional races, featured events and the Expo will span Thursday to Saturday that weekend. For a full schedule of events, go to www.usafmarathon.com/schedule-of-events.