Thanks to a group called Dare2tri, which encourages those with disabilities to excel in various athletic fields, Wong is not only running, but competing in more elaborate races as well.
On Saturday, the 29-year-old from Chicago placed eighth overall in the Grand Haven Duathlon with a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes, 8 seconds.
Not bad for someone who had to complete the 10K bike ride portion of the event one-handed.
“I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to run again, but I found a guy who has the same injury as I do, and he makes these slings that hold my paralyzed arm so it doesn’t flop around,” Wong explained, showing off a special contraption that keeps his injured left arm wrapped sluggly along his chest. “I do the duathlon because the swim is hard for me, but I have a special setup on my bike so I can control the brake and the shifter with one hand.”
Wong gets a lot of attention from other competitors at events, and it puts a smile on his face.
“I get a lot of ‘Oh my gosh’s,’” he said with a laugh. “If there was a para-division, I would be in that, but since there isn’t one at this race, I just did the regular duathlon.”
Wong’s wife, Lauren, also competed on Sunday and finished the sprint triathlon in a time of 1:44.22.
“I like this race,” Mike Wong said. “It’s very well organized. We don’t see a lot of hills in Chicago, so even these little rolling hills are more than what we’re used to.
“The people here are very nice. I would definitely recommend this race to other people.”