September 18, 2016
Purple Heart Marine Runs in Hometown Marathon
You may have met Sargent Amanda Eason in Episode 82 published on November 11, 2015. She related her story about April 20, 2010 when her convoy was ambushed in Afghanistan.
The armored truck she was driving took two direct IED hits with the equivalent of 120 pounds of dynamite. Her staff sergeant was wounded in the attack and had to be air evaced under fire.
Her patrol could not be rescued until early the next morning after spending a harrowing night listening to enemy bullets ping off the vehicles.
On Memorial day 2010 she, along with four fellow Marines, was awarded the Purple Heart. She suffers permanent hearing loss in one ear and some peripheral vision in one eye.
This was the Caribou High School graduate’s eighth full marathon that she has run including the Marine Corps Marathon and the New York Marathon a week later.
When asked about the Caribou course she said, “It’s ok for as hilly as the course was. I’ll take it but it wasn’t my best but it wasn’t my worst time.”
Eason was especially pleased that her younger brother Matt Trombley ran a half-marathon today. Matt resides in Bangor and is the Executive Director of Critical Care, Long Term, and Rehab at a Bangor Nursing Home.
Eason was accompanied north by her 20 month old daughter Elizabeth. You may recall her husband Geoffrey, who works in the motorsports industry, currently maintaining F.H. Furr’s personal collection of Mopars.
The Eason family resides in Quantico, Virginia. Semper Fi Marine!
Amanda is the daughter of Cindy and Jeff Trombley of Woodland.
The Caribou Marathon was won by Erik McCarthy of Old Town for the men. Tracy Guerrette of St. Agatha won the overall ladies title.
Zanardi Takes Gold In Rio Paralympics
After watching 58 year-old Edmund Pires of Bristol, Rhode Island zip by the water/aid station twice today with his hand cycle I felt it was necessary to include former Indy Car driver Alex Zanardi in this episode.
Zanardi lost both legs and nearly bled to death 15 years ago in a horrific crash in the American Memorial Indy Car Race at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany. Coming out of the pits he spun directly in the path of Alex Tagliani.
The impact severed the car just behind the front wheels. Zanardi lost both legs in the crash as well as 3/4 of his blood volume. Quick work by the medical staff saved his life.
Zanardi is a typical stubborn race car driver who, when told he would never race again, took up the challenge. Commercially available prosthetic limbs did not meet his satisfaction so he designed his own.
He put those to use in just two short years after the crash when he took to the same track in Germany in a demonstration run in a car fitted with hand controls and finished the final thirteen laps he never got to finish in 2001.
In the years since the crash Zanardi has raced several types of cars and took up hand cycle racing. He earned two gold medals in London in 2012 as well as a silver medal. At the Rio Paralympics he won two more gold medals and another silver.
Zanardi has won the Venice Marathon as well as the New York Marathon in 2011 in his fourth try. His hand cycle is built by Italian race car manufacturer Dallara who also make all the Indy Car chassis.
Zanardi has been married to Daniela since 1996. They have one son Niccolo who is eighteen. His best friend is “Mad Max” Papis. Zanardi is also a devout Christian sponsoring both of Papis’ sons at their baptism.
Swanson Goes For Three
Any longtime UpNorth Motorsports readers know that I follow closely the career of Kody Swanson a California native now living in Zionsville, Indiana. I met him several years ago and have always been impressed with his humble attitude, integrity, and fierce driving style.
Swanson has won back-to-back USAC Silver Crown titles and is going for his third next Saturday the 24th at the USAC 4-Crown Nationals. He currently leads second place Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois by a slim 10 point margin.
National titles in Silver Crown, Midgets, Sprint Car, and All Star Circuit of Champions will be decided that evening.
The ever gracious Swanson had this to say about the upcoming race,”This season has been a good one so far, and we’ve got a chance to really finish strong with Eldora coming up this weekend.”
“Our goal would be to win the race and the championship, but no matter the outcome I’ve got no complaints. It has been a real pleasure to drive the DePalma Family #63 this season, and an honor to be part of a team filled with such hard-working and dedicated people. I’m excited about our chances this weekend, and looking forward to what it holds for us!”
Swanson is married to his hometown sweetheart Jordan. They have a son Trevor who is less than a year old. I am sure the whole family will be at Eldora to support Kody. I wish I could be there to see him race. Best Wishes.
County Street Stock Racers Racing in Bangor and Unity
JR Howlett of Mapleton and Jon Dixon of Presque Isle have made several trips to central Maine this summer to race their Street Stock cars at Unity and Speedway 95.
This past weekend Dixon placed eighth at Speedway 95 while Howlett did not start after losing his engine in the heat race.
Howlett had lost the engine in his tow truck and had to have it picked up by Jason Bonville with his flat-bed wrecker. Bonville brought his truck on the back of the wrecker so Howlett could tow his trailer and race car home. Not a great weekend for the County man.
Howlett mentioned that he will be racing in a couple more street stock events October 1st at Unity and the next day at Speedway 95 for the Ikey Dorr race. Dixon plans to do similar races according to Howlett. Look here for results of those races.
Let’s Go Racing,
Soli Deo Gloria