Rick Ball, the 43-year-old runner who holds the world marathon record for unilateral amputees, has broken the world record for an amputee in the half-marathon. His 1:20:44 time, set at the Canada Army Run on September 20, was just over one minute faster than the previous record. It was just nine minutes behind the men’s able-bodied winner on the 13.2-mile course, and 20 seconds behind the women’s winner.
Ball, who lost his left leg below the knee in a 1986 motorcycle accident, ran in part to raise money for the Soldier On Program, which helps current and former Canadian soldiers stay active.
“It was a true honor for me to run with everybody, including all of the injured soldiers,” Ball wrote on his page on Facebook. “I think the Soldier On Program has a great future and is a good support mechanism for our veterans….”
Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay and Army Commander Gen. Andrew Leslie joined the runners in a five-kilometer mini-event on the course.
“You can’t help but admire their perseverance, their will to move forward no matter what,” MacKay said of the participants, according to CTV News.