CLT man breaks barriers with crutches

- For avid runner and cyclist Bill Alford, age is nothing more than a number.

"I'm not going to sit around. I'm gonna do something else," Alford said.

At 47 he started getting into extreme sports and signed up for a triathlon at 52.

He the went to his doctor at Ortho-Carolina to make sure he could handle the pressure of  swimming, biking and running marathons.

"After I told him what I wanted to do he said, 'Don't worry about it. Anything you break, we'll just replace it.' So I felt good after that and went as hard as I could,"' Alford said.

But the unthinkable happened in one of his races. Things took a bit of an unexpected turn when he'd pulled out of the race to fix his bike.

"Another cyclist came up behind me and didn't see me. And hit me going 18 miles an hour and broke my leg," Alford said.

The 59-year-old says it's an accident that left him depressed for months.

"I train out of fear because I don't want to crash. I don't want to exhaust myself," Alford said.

That's when he decided to stop making excuses and keep running 5Ks. Just a few weeks ago he crossed the finish line on crutches, breaking the current Guinness World Record.

"I had my daughter feeding me food. Because when you're running with crutches, you can't use your hands. I had another lady wiping my eyes. I had my pit crew," Alford said.

The current record for running a 5K on crutches is 1 hour 4 minutes and 50 seconds.

Alford's time was 54 minutes and 41 seconds.

Now that he's done something he's proud of despite his circumstances he's ready to continue down the road to recovery and get back to running without crutches.

He says his injury has taught him to stop making excuses and just do it.

Alford said he's submitted the paperwork to the Guinness World Record but hasn't heard back yet.

There's another person in California claiming to have broken the same record with a quicker time than Alford. He says he's patiently waiting to see how everything plays out.

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