“The summit awaits, never give up.” — Team Martin
Pinkham Notch, NH — On July 22nd, Governor of New Hampshire Chris Sununu declared Sunday, August 1st, 2021 as “Adaptive Activity Day”, recognizing the importance of movement to all individuals either “in their recovery or journey living with a disability.”
So it was more than fitting that August 1st was the scheduled date for the annual Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington presented by Anthem healthcare.
In the early morning hours on Sunday, August 1st, 10 teams each representing one individual athlete departed the base of the Auto Road determined to reach the 6,288-foot summit. Each team includes an adaptive athlete and “mules” who help the athlete in any way necessary as he or she makes the arduous climb up the 7.6 mile Auto Road to the summit. The teams must pull together and push through the grueling ascent to overcome this great challenge.
The Mt. Washington Auto Road remained closed to all traffic until 11am so that the teams could make a safe ascent.
This is also a particularly special year, with “Team Martin” walking in memory of Martin Wallem who passed away in October of 2020 from ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Martin was the first and only athlete in 2009 who inspired this unique fundraiser with his desire to ascend Mt. Washington again. This event now draws more than 300 participants from eight states and accounts for one-third of ASPNC’s overall budget.
MiKayla Briere, who not only works with the ASPNC and helped to facilitate the event, but also participated as an athlete riding her new adaptive mountain bike, said: “I would not have had ‘riding my bike up Mt. Washington’ on my list of life goals without Martin. It was an incredible morning.”
The Mt. Washington Auto Road is proud to partner with Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country whose mission is to enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities through year-round sport, recreation, and wellness.
For more information, visit: adaptivesportspartners.org/sunriseascent/