Other NJ News

Paralyzed After Accident, New Jersey Man Completes Third NYC Marathon on Handcycle

4cc2a90a5ebfad1243cd_c9cdc507c64a966f7ad1_finish_line.jpg
Dennis McGorty crosses the finish line at the New York Marathon.
7dee742a5f64acf605e1_Dennis_and_kids_Tamaques_ride.jpg
McGorty and his children ride together.
e3c2a6cebb829a29e0d1_finish_line_cheerers.jpg
Family and friends cheer McGorty on at the finish line.
4cc2a90a5ebfad1243cd_c9cdc507c64a966f7ad1_finish_line.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — When Dennis McGorty cranked his handcycle bike through the massive incline of the 59th Street Bridge going from Queens to Manhattan during this year’s New York City Marathon, he had that familiar feeling that he has been largely missing since being struck by a truck on his racing bike in the spring of 2013.

“That’s the toughest stretch,” said Mcorty. “There’s no one there, there are no crowds cheering, it’s dark, you’re on the lower level. You really have to push yourself through that one. But once you come around the corner in Manhattan the streets are lined again and it’s great.”

This was McGorty’s third consecutive New York City Marathon riding for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s Team Reeve in the handcyle division, the only three races the former Westfield High School and University of North Carolina track star has been in since the accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, in a body cast for close to five months and with years of intense physical therapy.

Sign Up for E-News

“I’m feeling more fit,” said McGorty, who finished this year’s race in 1 hour and 55 minutes. “Just being out on a bike. There is a freedom to being out on a bike.”

Now that McGorty is finally feeling more like his old self, he has the bug to compete again. It’s been a long process. McGorty was a successful trader on Wall Street and then ventured into his real passion of building homes. Just as his home building career was taking off, the accident occurred. He lives in a house that he designed and had built. He has had to put his work on hold while recovering from his considerable injuries. McGorty was returning home from a long training ride when his bike was struck by a gardening truck on South Avenue, changing his life path.

“My helmet saved my life, said McGorty, “It shattered, it was in 10 pieces.”

While he is still mulling over his future in terms of work, the doctors have told him that he is now finally as strong as someone can be after sustaining such a serious injury. He has a chronically sore shoulder and back, in addition to other aches and pains, but none of this holds him back from wanting to become a more competitive rider. While he trained harder for this year’s marathon then the previous ones, he hoped for a better outcome.

“I’ve been an athlete my whole life,” said McGorty,47,  who still holds the 400 meter high hurdles record at Westfield High School and was an Olympic hopeful in the decathlon in college before a series of leg injuries slowed him down. “I want to do even better. Finishing in the middle of the pack is not in my nature. It’s not just going out for a ride now. I want to be competitive.”

In addition to increasing his practice time and working on being a more efficient rider, McGorty wants to compete in the Boston Marathon, the San Francisco Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. “I just need more races,” he said. The Marine Corps has personal meaning to him because his dad, who recently passed away, was a Marine before having a career in the FBI. His main focus will always be New York.

McGorty has a legion of loyal supporters from his former co-workers to his old college teammates and the large bike-riding community in the Westfield area, some who came out during this year’s marathon to cheer him on. But it is his wife and two school-age children who provide him with a daily foundation, enabling him to make the strides that he has made.

“My family is everything,” said McGorty. ‘They are my biggest cheerleaders – not just for the marathon but in life and continuing to get stronger and gain recovery.”

During the past three New York City Marathons, Dennis and his wife, Anita, have also teamed up to raise more than $45,000 for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s efforts towards a cure for paralysis and quality of life initiatives. While Dennis has clearly been an inspiration to others, he said that his motivation comes from within and that “I’m out there to do the best that I can.” His best has allowed him to complete three New York City Marathons and, whether he wants to accept it or not, he has positively impacted scores of people who look up to him.

“I would rather see a world of empty wheelchairs,” said McCorty, “but while we are in them, let’s make the best of it.”

A frequent contributor to TAPinto Westfield, Mike Cohen is the founder/director of Throwback Sports (a sports program for children of all abilities) and the sports editor of Education Update. He can be reached at throwbacksports@verizon.net.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Morristown

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Memorial Day Parades, Events in the Morristown Area

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Grab your red, white and blue and celebrate the brave men and women have sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedom. There are several commemorations, parades and events planned in Morristown to honor them this Memorial Day.

On Saturday May 26, a memorial service and parade will take place in Morris Plains. The memorial service will take place at 9am at ...

Morristown Loyola Retreat Hosts Retreat; Monday June 11

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Sacred Thread Ministries is inviting members to a one day retreat on Monday June 11 at the Loyola Retreat Center in Morristown.

Members of the community are invited to discover the gardens of your soul and the mindfulness that enables us to focus on the energy of the present moment for a day of retreat.

The retreat will take place at the Loyola Retreat Center, 161 ...

Reserve Your Spot: Morris County Historical Tours Begin This Summer

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Community members are invited to “Discover Morris County” through the summer walking tour and lecture series  The Morris County Tourism Bureau invites everyone to experience the rich history that Morris County has to offer with a knowledgeable guide. Summer programs will be held over nine successive Saturday mornings during June, July and August.  ...

Original Music Fest Comes to Ginty Field This Memorial Day Weekend

May 25, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -Are you staying in town this Memorial Day weekend? If so, check out the Original Music Fest at Ginty Field on Monday May 28.

The event is FREE and will take place immediately following the Memorial Day parade and observance. Organizers of the event anticipate times of the festival to be around 12noon - 3:30pm

The Recreation Department of Morris Township is teaming up ...

Jacobus Vanderveer House Designated A Blue Star Museum; Allows Military Members Free Access to the Museum

Bedminster’s historic Jacbous Vanderveer House & Museum has been designated a Blue Star Museum, one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum is one of 24 Blue Star Museums in New Jersey, and one of only two ...

Butterfly Bonanza Flies to Pyramid Mountain; June 9

MORRISTOWN, NJ. On Saturday, June 9, from 12 noon to 4 p.m., celebrate the beauty and importance of New Jersey’s butterflies and other pollinators at the annual Butterfly Bonanza at Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area in Montville Township.

Butterfly Bonanza is packed with excitement, entertainment, and education for all ages. Enjoy a guided ‘Bug Safari’ tour of ...

Superheros to the Rescue! Over 900 Runners Run the 2018 Superhero Half Marathon

May 21, 2018

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ -  Who is the strongest superhero? There has been some debate on the internet as to who the strongest superheros are. According to CBR.com, it is Sentry (3rd),  Thor (2nd) and The Hulk (1st) who top their list. However, it might just be the 900 runners that were strong enough to participate in the 2018 Superhero Half Marathon on Sunday May 20 at Ginty Field in ...

10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...

Peter Toth to Perform a Free Piano Recital at the Morristown Historical Park; Sunday May 20

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The community is invited to Washington's Headquarters Museum on Sunday May 20 to enjoy a piano recital featuring Hungarian pianist Peter Toth.

The free piano recital will take place at 1pm at the national Historical Park's Washington Headquarters Museum; 30 Washington Place.

Toth will play the park's 1873 Steinway Grand piano that will ...

The Kootz at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

May 15, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Stop by the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum to hear The Kootz perform a medley of blues, pop, and rock from the 60s-90s on July 1 from 2-3pm.

Break out the picnic blanket or beach chairs and join us in our historic garden Sundays at 2:00 pm for a selection of music and poetry.

$10 per adult, FREE for members!

Rain or shine. In the case of inclement ...

Three Bloomfield Teens Are Missing, Police Seek Community Assistance to Locate Them

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Police Department is asking for the public's assistance to locate three teenagers who went missing this week. One of the parents reports that a large sum of money is missing suggesting the three may have fled the state. 

16-year-old Ulises Yance and 15-year-old Alex Lopez were last seen Fridaymornin, and 16-year-old Alexa Arenas was last seen ...

In London Town - NJFO Season Finale

On Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, under the baton of David Wroe, presents a magnificent 35th anniversary season finale celebration of music linked in some way to England and its great city of London.

The concert opens with Sir Edward Elgar’s exhilarating Introduction and Allegro for Strings, a work composed in 1905 to enable the string section ...

Parents of Dangled Roxbury Kid File Lawsuit Warning

May 20, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - The parents of a 6-year-old special needs student who, according to authorities, was hung upside down and shaken by a frustrated teacher's aide in March, filed a notice of tort claim today, the first volley of a forthcoming lawsuit.

The notice says the Landing couple intend to sue the aide, the Roxbury school board, a number of school  administrators and ...

Offshore Drilling Endangers 2 National Parks in New Jersey

May 25, 2018

SPOILED PARKS: NEW REPORT SPOTLIGHTS THREAT OF TRUMP’S EXPANDED OFFSHORE DRILLING TO 68 COASTAL NATIONAL PARKS 

 Acadia, Fort Sumter, Everglades, Olympic National Parks and Others in 18 States at Risk; Huge Potential Impact Seen on $5.7 Billion in Coastal Park Economic Output, 84 Million Annual Visits, and 60,000 Jobs.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Trump ...

Living longer is in your control

Research published this week in the journal Circulation, reported findings of a 34 year study on over 100,000 people found five modifiable lifestyle     
 behaviors associated with a 14 year longer life expectancy in women and a 12 year long life expectancy in men at age 50. The health behaviors related to longer life included never smoking, eating a healthy diet, ...

Why You Should Buy Your NJ Home Before Interest Rates Rise

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, marking a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. Many factors fueled the current pace of acceleration.  Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, opines:

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 14, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

Candidate Statement: May is Older Americans Month: Time to Give Back to Morris County’s Seniors Every Day!

May 24, 2018

The June 5th Primary has entered the home stretch.  For the first time in 8 weeks, there is no where I need to appear other than at the doorstep of a registered voter to ask for their support in the election booth.

Since I decided to pursue the open Freeholder seat in March, I have been all across Morris County.  I have been out and away from my family every day since, attending such ...

Congressional Candidate Tony Ghee Candidate Statement

With the retirement of longtime Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, the good people of Morris, Essex, Sussex and Passaic Counties will elect a new representative this November. It also means that our Republican Party has a choice to make, as well.

Do we nominate a career politician in an age when most people don’t trust their government or the people serving, or do we seize this ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 26

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, May 26, 9:30 AM

73 Barbertown Rd, Frenchtown

Intro to Permaculture

Green Other

Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Recue, Berkeley Heights,

Dog Adoption

Other

Warrants, DWI and Narcotics Top This Week Police Blotter

May 14, 2018

4/23: ARREST FOR NARCOTICS: Officers were dispatched to the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in Jefferson Township on a report of a noise complaint. An investigation led to Rebecca L. Schank-Smith, age 22, of Bloomingdale, and Delia A. Gutierrez, age 23, of Lincoln Park, to be charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. They were both released with a court date pending.

4/23: ...

Loyola Celebrates 2017-2018 At Annual Banquet

May 25, 2018

 

 

 

http://www.loyolagreyhounds.com/genrel/043018aae.html
 

Loyola Celebrates 2017-2018 At Annual Banquet

Donna Woodruff presents Frankie Kamely (left) and Brian Begley with the Lagna and Mohler Awards.
April 30, 2018

BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland seniors Frankie Kamely and Brian Begley were the 2018 recipients of ...