Handcyclist Competing in Third Marine Corps Marathon

4 NBC Washington | By Julie Carey | Friday, Oct 24, 2014 | Link to Article

Washington, DC – A Marine who lost his legs to an IED in Afghanistan will be one of dozens of handcyclists racing alongside runners in the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday.

Sgt. Michael Frazier was introduced to his first handcycle while being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the explosion. Frazier has also served three tours in Iraq.

“I wasn’t a big cyclist before, then at the hospital through recovery they put me on a handcycle and I fell in love with it,” Frazier said.

Frazier became a member of Team Semper Fi. The parent groups, the Semper Fi Fund and America’s Fund, pay for wounded warriors to participate and compete in athletic events around the country.

There are 119 service members competing for Team Semper Fi and Team America’s Fund in either the marathon or 10K. Of those, 39 are handcyclists.

The group also has 730 community members competing to raise money.

Frazier says being on Team Semper Fi is as much about the camaraderie as it is about the competition.

“Just being there for each other, having that good support system. That’s what team Semper Fi is about,” he said.
Frazier completed his first Marine Corps Marathon just 17 months after he was wounded.

“I did it in 2 1/2 hours but that was my first marathon, and from there I was hooked,” Frazier said. “I did 26.2 miles with my arms by myself. That’s amazing.”

Handcycling has been an important part of his recovery and helps him deal with the effects of PTSD. To train for races, Frazier handcycles thirty miles a day, traveling from Mt. Vernon to Reagan National Airport and back.

This year’s race is Frazier’s third Marine Corps Marathon. Frazier hopes to achieve a personal best, beating a time of one hour and 50 minutes.