Valdosta man captures hearts of his community - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta man captures hearts of his community

February 1, 2007

Valdosta -- He's participated in nearly 20 races in the last two years, all in a standard wheelchair. So the community joined together to help him go those extra miles with a little more ease.

Charlie Mizell was born with spina bifida and has been in a wheelchair all his life. But he's never let that get him down.  "No obstacle can get in my way," he says.

In October of 2005, a friend convinced him to sign up for a local road race, and he's been hooked ever since. "From then on out, I just had a passion for it forever."

And others began to notice too.  "This gentleman just inspired me with his determination to accomplish things that I'd know he'd not accomplished many times before," said Athletic Store Owner Todd Smoot.

Another thing they noticed is Charlie was racing in his every day street chair because the average racing chair costs thousands of dollars.  "It was not designed to do what he's done to that chair, with his passion for doing it. I just don't think that was in the manual," Smoot said.

 "By the end of the race I was racing on flat tires, and that was a struggled race." The other racers were so inspired by Charlie and his determination they began raising money locally to get him the new chair.

"People just started pouring in money. It was very rewarding." Forty-one doners from all over the state contributed, and today, Charlie finally got the chair of his dreams. "I think it's going to be like going from a Chevrolet S-10 to a Cadillac," he exclaimed

But breaking in the new chair isn't as easy as putting on a new pair of running shoes. It will take days for him to acclimate himself but he'll have a support system the whole way. "We'll go out on a course Saturday and run with him a bit," said Smoot. "We'll do it a bit in the parking lot first to make sure he learns to turn and stop and all that."

Now Charlie will work toward his goal of competing in 2008's Peachtree Road Race. Charlie will test out his new chair for the first time Saturday at 8:00 AM at the Get Active Store in Valdosta. All runners in the area are invited to join.


Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=RacingChair/AE

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Aspire focuses on emotional impact left by January storms

    Aspire focuses on emotional impact left by January storms

    Thursday, March 30 2017 6:57 AM EDT2017-03-30 10:57:16 GMT
    Aspire wants South Georgians to know that they are here to offer assistance (Source:WALB)Aspire wants South Georgians to know that they are here to offer assistance (Source:WALB)

    Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability provided an on-site clinic inside the American Red Cross Shelter located inside the Albany Civic Center to help those experiencing mental health issues. The group wants residents know that they're still available to help those in need.

    More >>

    Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability provided an on-site clinic inside the American Red Cross Shelter located inside the Albany Civic Center to help those experiencing mental health issues. The group wants residents know that they're still available to help those in need.

    More >>
  • Rainfall Gauge

    Rainfall Gauge

    Today: 0.00'": Monthly Total 1.21"; Normal for the Month 5.22"; Yearly Total 13.03"; -/+ Year to Date -2.52".

    More >>

    Today: 0.00": Monthly Total 1.21"; Normal for the Month 5.22"; Yearly Total 13.03"; -/+ Year to Date -2.52".

    More >>
  • Hodges to run for Court of Appeals

    Hodges to run for Court of Appeals

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 11:46 PM EDT2017-03-30 03:46:33 GMT
    Hodges announced his candidacy (Source:WALB)Hodges announced his candidacy (Source:WALB)

    A former Dougherty County District Attorney is running for an open seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

    More >>

    A former Dougherty County District Attorney is running for an open seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly