FREMONT, Ind. (WANE) – Tom Davis has taken things in stride even though is path is a little different now.
“Probably the toughest bike race I’ve ever done in my life,” he said.
Despite heavy rains and high wind, the Fremont resident clinched back-to-back Boston Marathon handcycling titles. He finished with a time of 1:18.41 – or seven minutes ahead of his closest competitor.
It was his 4th win in the past six years, but for Davis it’s not the people he finishes ahead of but fellow veterans he starts alongside.
“It’s not just all about the racing, it’s about building that comraderie,” Davis said. “I was deployed to Iraq in 2006 and I was wounded when my humve that I was in destroyed by a roadside bomb.”
He lost his left leg above the knee. Through therapy he found a new passion though.
“I had always been a runner, all through high school and all through college so losing my leg and not knowing what everything was going to happen and then being on that hand cycle and being able to go fast again,” Davis said. “It just clicked instantly and I loved it.”
Asked if he would have ever competed in the Boston Marathon as a runner, he said definitively no.
For Davis, the speed is the thrill and the exercise he gets from doing it is important too. But the feeling of being around the other wounded warriors is what keeps him coming back.
“For some of these guys just being able to get together with people like them that have been wounded that are dealing with everything,” he said. “You can see a lot of change in people when you first see them come to a race that they’ve never done it before and you see them three or four races later and they are completely different people. It’s amazing.”