Hudson Teen, Owen Anketell, has completed a 2,365 mile journey from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida solely by hand-cycle! He was able to finish the 2,365 mile trek on Sunday August 20 on the same day he turned 17.
Anketell was born with hereditary spastic paraplegia. This means that his leg muscles aren’t strong enough for him to walk, so he must use a wheelchair to move around. Wonderfully, it doesn’t hinder his athleticism. He started skiing at the age of 3 with a specially designed ski and hasn’t looked back. Through assistive devices, he can stay active and fulfill his dreams.
The trip took years to plan and he raised close to $50,000 for hotels and meals for the trip. Anketell biked alongside his best friend Matt Farrell and cousin Bryce Coffey. They cycled on three weekends between Memorial Day and the end of the school year, traveling home and returning to the spot where they left off. On June 26, they began the full-time trek and haven’t been home since.
The trio traveled an average of 50 miles a day, and in Florida, they traveled 82.5 miles in one day!
Along the way, they met with different groups and organizations that advocate for people with disabilities and made lifelong connections. In 2015 he founded the nonprofit Adaptive Sports Awareness and planned this trip to advocate for the ability for people with disabilities to play sports.
“I feel great now that we’re done,” he said. “I’m happy that it’s over and I’m happy with what I was able to accomplish during the ride.”