Speed for Need and F3 Help Those With Needs Experience 5Ks and More
Speed for Need is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness and foster inclusion of those with a need through participation in fitness events, such as 5Ks, 10Ks or marathons — experiences that they would not be able to have on their own. Trained drivers push Track Commanders (riders) in customized, fitted racing wheelchairs to help them participate in and complete fitness events. Our impact is measured largely in the number of smiles and amount of laughter coming from the Track Commanders that we push. There is no greater impact than helping others feel included and loved.
Who We Serve
Anyone with a need (child or adult) is eligible to participate as a rider in a Speed for Need event. Examples of needs include physical or cognitive disability, recovering from a disease, or older adults, such as military veterans in events honoring our military. We coordinate with organizations that serve potential riders, as well as local race directors. We provide teams and specialized racing wheelchairs to push our Track Commanders in races and running events. This all is done at no cost to the riders.
How We Got Started
Will Farr, from Charlotte, North Carolina, had been an avid runner his entire life, but had a hard time sharing his joy of running with his son, Owen, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (a rare genetic disease that causes the muscles in the body to become weak and damaged over time). Farr met Kevin Young after he joined a free men’s workout-fellowship group called F3 (Fitness, Fellowship and Faith — learn more at F3nation.com). The two men saw an opportunity for Owen and others to experience the joy of participating in a race. With the support of F3, the men collected donations to purchase a racing wheelchair they could use to push riders, like Owen, in local running/racing events. On July 4, 2017, Owen got to participate in his first race with his dad, and out of the love of a father, Speed for Need was born.
Where We Are Now
Since 2017, Speed for Need has grown to nine specialized racing wheelchairs and has run with more than 315 Track Commanders in 95 races, helping raise awareness for more than 40 social causes. After running the Next Step Run, Walk or Roll 5K in October 2021, with the help of F3 Cherokee, Speed for Need officially began expanding into Georgia in January. The positive response has been incredible. Initial fundraising efforts allowed for the purchase of four racing wheelchairs to use for events in Georgia. Speed for Need is run completely by volunteers, and donations are used to purchase and maintain the racing chairs for our riders.
How Can You Get Involved?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can help by becoming a volunteer, or donating at speedforneed.org. We always are looking to partner with organizations or events where there is a need to help get a Track Commander to the finish line. We recently partnered with the Kennesaw Grand Prix Race Series and are looking for riders to fill our chairs. For the most up-to-date information, visit https://kennesawgrandprix.com. For other events, check out our event calendar at https://speedforneed.org/calendar.
– Submitted by Speed for Need