BOSTON (CBS) – Former hockey player Denna Laing has a new challenge: 26.2 miles.
Laing was paralyzed while playing for the Boston Pride women’s pro hockey team in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.
Now she’s teaming up with hockey legend Bobby Carpenter for the Boston Marathon; he’ll push her in a racing wheelchair.
“We started talking about it in late June,” Carpenter said. “It’s been a process.”
The two traveled to Florida this past weekend to take part in the Clearwater Distance Classic – a half-marathon. A stormy forecast forced officials to cancel the race, but the duo decided that since they’d made the trip, they would use it as a training run.
The bad weather held off long enough for them to finish, although it was pretty windy on the course.
“The bridges were hard because of the wind; there were 40 mile an hour winds at the top of some of them,” Carpenter said.
“And it never seemed like the wind on the bridges was going our way,” smiled Laing.
They started in the dark, just after 6am, and finished in bright sunshine, covering the 13.1 mile course in two and a half hours.
Carpenter ran Boston last year, but this will be a first for his partner. “Bobby’s great, and I’m glad to have him behind me,” Laing said.
“I’ve watched in person, and seen it on TV, as a spectator,” said Laing, “but I think the adrenaline is going to be a little different. I’m just excited. It’s a new experience for me.”
They are members of the Journey Forward marathon team, part of the John Hancock Nonprofit Program. Journey Forward is a rehabilitation facility in Canton, dedicated to improving the lives of people living with paralysis.
WBZ-TV will broadcast the Boston Marathon live on April 17th.