Brett Sloan of West Simsbury is one of several Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Sports Association athletes who participated in the 28th Annual Dave Parcells Madison Triathlon on Saturday Sept. 7.
The Gaylord Specialty Healthcare athletes with disabilities, ranging from spinal cord to the visually impaired, competed with athletes without disabilities. The race consisted of a .5 mile swim in Long Island Sound, 13 mile bike through the back roads of Madison, and a 3 mile run along the shore.
Sloan was in a biking accident in 2001 while deployed to Greece with the U.S Air Force. About 10 years later, after 20 surgeries and many infections, the decision was made to amputate his right leg below the knee.
However, 3 months after his surgery, Sloan was back on his bike and soon began swimming and running.
Sloan has participated in several other triathlons, such as the Wheeler Y Indoor Tri series, the Summer Solstice Sprint, the NYC Olympic Tri (placed 3rd in his division) among many other athletic competitions.
He also plans on participating in the NE Para-triathlon Regional Championships in Montauk later this month as well as the Hartford Half Marathon in October.
Sloan trains on local roads and says West Simsbury is his favorite area to train.
When he isn’t training or competing, Sloan works as a dermatologist at Uconn Health Center in Farmington and at the VA hospital in Newington.
Sloan hopes to win the championship at the end of the season and as well as stay healthy and continue having fun! He would also like to do a Half Ironman next season if the VA provides him with a running leg that is more efficient for long distances.
He also says he may even give Nationals a shot next year if he improves his 5k time.
He says he does not like to dwell on his accident and states, ”looking forward always feels better than looking back.”
The Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Sports Association has been designated a Paralympic Sport Club by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). The goal of this triathlon is to encourage and promote a healthy and active lifestyle regardless of physical disabilities or impairments. Through these sports events, athletes build strength and courage to further improve their well-being.