Michelle Wheeler: Greatness on the Roads, and Off
Though she’s been a competitive road racer for just two years, Michelle Wheeler has made a name for herself. In 2018, she won the Los Angeles Marathon in March and the Fifth Third River Bank 25K in May and made the podium in other road races around the country. In June, she competed in the inaugural wheelchair race at the NYRR New York Mini 10K.
When she’s not competing, Wheeler, 31, from Boalsburg, PA, trains twice a day while also raising her 9-year-old daughter. She’s also completing a master’s degree in mental health and rehabilitation counseling at Penn State University and works from home full time.
Her LA Marathon victory motivated her to dedicate herself to the marathon distance. “I didn’t think I had a shot because I was competing with injured ribs,” she said. “After I won, it boosted my confidence.”
The Next Major Challenge
Next on the cards for Wheeler is a return to New York on November 4 for her first TCS New York City Marathon. “I enjoy racing marathons and other road races where I am able to gain knowledge and experience and meet amazing people along the way,” she said.
Wheeler suffered a suffered a spinal cord injury as a small child as the result of being abused. She was later adopted by a family with five other adopted children with disabilities and encouraged to pursue adaptive sports.
“I hope to pave the way for more individuals to get involved with adaptive sports,” she said. “We all deserve to show our greatness.”