DAVENPORT, IA — In less than three hours, Toni Wendler finished the 2014 Bix 7 race.
She was born with Spina Bifida, but doesn’t stop her from reaching her goals. The Bix 7 is only one of five races that she has completed this year. She set a goal to get seven medals in 2014.
“I’m doing it just because I can. It’s my longest race ever,” says Wendler, “I was kind of worried about putting one foot in front of the other.”
The Bix 7 is known for its tough terrain, an already difficult course for people without a disability. Toni was ready to take on the challenge. “I saw that hill this morning and I thought, ‘uh oh, what did I get myself into?’” Wendler laughed. It was her first time being on this route.
Wendler says she averages a 27 to 28 minute mile, but today, she was going around 26 minutes per mile. The crowd cheered her on all seven miles of the race.
“They were all awesome. Everybody was awesome. I had so many people follow me and the support was really nice.” People followed Wendler all the way to the finish line. And of course, there was a medal waiting for her at the finish line.
“It used to embarrass me because I was always the last one, but I am starting to embrace the fact that maybe I’ll inspire somebody,” says Wendler, “If I can do it, anybody can do it.”
She was the final racer to complete the 2014 Bix 7, but a winner nonetheless.