Achilles International-Nashville

The Mike Moberg Award

The Mike Moberg crystal ornament

This year our Chapter lost 2 of its long time members, Mike Moberg and Peter Pressman. At our annual Holiday Party on December 12, 2018 a special award in honor and in memory of these two people went to one athlete and one guide.

Mike Moberg was one of the original Achilles athletes. He was an avid hand-cycler who dedicated his life to health and fitness following an accident in 2009 that left him paralyzed from waist down. 

The transformation that fitness and Achilles made to Mike’s life is an incredible story. (see Remembering Mike Moberg)

We have an athlete who exemplifies the qualities we all think of when we talk about Mike. This athlete also began with Achilles early on as one of the original athletes. This athlete, like Mike, was a bit over his ideal weight and not overly athletic. However, things changed for him over the past couple of years as he trained hard, dedicated his time and energy towards fitness and reaching new goals. Despite some medical complications during training, he persevered, focused and determined to complete the NYC Marathon. This award, the 1styear of the Mike Moberg Athlete of the Year Award goes to Dwaine Jones, an athlete and a champion in our eyes!

The Peter Pressman Award

The Peter Pressman award ornament

Most everyone in our Achille Nashville Chapter knew Peter Pressman or at least has heard about Peter from those of us here at Achilles or from the running community. Peter was one of the original founders of Achilles, helping to shape the club into the organization it is today. He was with Achilles since the beginning and his fingerprint is on everything we do today! He was an active guide, board member, cheerleader and supporter of all. He exemplified the mission of Achilles, a place for everybody, regardless of pace, age, distance, or ability. He believed in everyone and made everyone believe they were the most special person in the world…in fact, when you were in his presence you were. 

We would like to recognize as the recipient of the first Peter Pressman Guide of the Year Award to Ginger Roelle. Ginger has guided most every athlete here at Achilles. She does so week after week, time after time, walk or run, short or long distance, she gives her all to each and every athlete. Ginger always has a positive and encouraging word for the athletes and the other guides as well. She is a role model of a guide, with her consistency in attendance, her flexibility, her willingness to go over and above…Ginger, we are so fortunate to have you. You exemplify the spirit of the Finish Upright and With a Smile slogan of Peter’s….

Ginger and Theresa

Fleet Feet Nashville Charity Partner

Mackenzie, Dana, Scott, Lizzy, Lauren and Minna

This week’s spotlight is Achilles Nashville. Their mission is to empower people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events in order to promote personal achievement.

Every Wednesday evening around 6:30 pm, athletes decked out in bright highlighter yellow shirts, headlamps, and reflective gear gather at McCabe community center in Sylvan Park. These athletes are part of Achilles Nashville, which works to promote fitness without boundaries or limitations. Achilles Nashville pairs athletes with disabilities such as visual or physical impairments, with athletes/guides without disabilities. Together they train and complete races throughout the year.

Achilles Nashville began meeting in 2012, and has since become the largest and fastest growing Achilles chapter in the United States. They’ve sent athletes all over the country to participate in races. Runners have qualified for Boston and completed the NYC marathon. Most recently, 27 of their athletes and guides made the trip to Memphis to run St. Jude Memphis Marathon and half marathon.

One of those athletes was Annie. Annie, currently a student at Belmont University, is visually impaired and ran track all four years in high school. “When I got to college, I just figured I was done running forever. I really missed being able to be active with a group of friends. Then, I heard about Achilles Nashville and am so happy to be running again!” she says.

Annie and her guide, Taylor, just completed the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon together and are excited to start planning their races for 2019.

Annie and Taylor are a great pair because they’re similar in height, stride length, and pace, which is important according to Annie. Taylor does a great job as Annie’s guide, cluing her in to when the next turn will be and even what kind of Christmas decorations surround them.

Fleet Feet Nashville employee and avid Achilles Nashville volunteer, Minna, has been volunteering with Achilles since spring of 2013. Minna and her sister, Lizzy, who has been an Achilles athlete since spring of 2012, just completed another full marathon as part of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon.

“Achilles brought a different perspective and appreciation for running into my life. Running is more than just exercising and being fast, it’s about appreciating the ability to move, roll, or run. Running used to be a “me focused hobby” but now it’s about giving back to others and sharing my passion through the role of being an Achilles guide!” says Minna.

Through involvement with Achilles, athletes gain measurable physical strength and the sense of accomplishment builds confidence. That confidence transfers over into other parts of their lives.

When you sign up for training and choose Achilles Nashville as your charity, your training fee will go towards program costs, which may include race registration for one of their athletes or even a hand-cycle or race wheelchair for an Achilles athlete.  We’re proud to partner with Achilles Nashville so they can so they can continue providing opportunities for athletes of all abilities to experience the life-changing benefits of running and being active.  


Sign up for Spring 2019 Half and Full Marathon Training and choose Achilles Nashville as your charity!

Achilles Nashville meets on Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, at McCabe Community Center. They will resume practices after the New Year. To learn more about Achilles Nashville, click here

Remembering Mike Moberg

Achilles Nashville recently shared the sad news of Mike Moberg’s passing on November 4, 2018. Mike was one of the original Achilles Nashville athletes, starting soon after the Nashville Chapter was founded in 2012. He rode an orange handcycle from Achilles with a bright neon flag waving behind him. For years, Mike came to practice each week on Wednesday nights, always in his neon yellow Achilles logo shirt. He put in many a mile with Achilles guides and friends on the Richland Creek Greenway, in the neighborhoods around McCabe Park, and in Belle Meade. Any runner who frequents the Belle Meade Boulevard and Percy Warner would know who Mike was if you mentioned the guy on the orange handcycle and the neon yellow shirt.

Mike was in a 1-car accident on his way home from work on the evening of January 19, 2009.  He suffered a spinal cord injury which left him paralyzed with no feeling or movement from the waist down.  During recovery he looked for ways to stay active and exercise. While he had been approximately 300 pounds (he was a great chef it seems!) prior to his accident; after his injury, he became a chair user. He quickly realized that he had to lose weight and become stronger to be independent and do the things he wanted to do in life. Thus began an exercise routine that included Achilles and workouts in the gym. He would often push his wheelchair up hills in different parking garages for up to 2-3 hours. Additionally, he changed his diet to eat healthier and lost over half his body weight as a result. Mike was totally dedicated to his fitness and healthy lifestyle. But probably of all the adapted sports, Mike loved handcycling.

Included here is an article on Mike from the Shepherd Center where he did much of his rehab after his accident years ago and a YouTube video where Mike talks about the importance of changing his lifestyle once he became a wheelchair user.

Memorial Service for Mike Moberg

A Memorial service will be held at 2 pm, Saturday, December 1, 2018, Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway, Nashville TN 37203

Reception to follow the service.

Mike’s father, David and his mother, Catherine have asked that donations in honor of Mike be made to Achilles Nashville to support equipment needs of the non-profit program.

Donate Here

Interview with David Moberg (Mike Moberg’s Father)

Do you have a favorite memory of Mike from a race?

We have two favorite memories of Mike from his races:

His first marathon was the 2013 Nashville Country Music Marathon. It was cold and rainy.  Really miserable weather.  And Mike had the great opportunity to ride that race with Achilles founder, Dick Traum.  I think they were the only two hand-cyclists that year.  His very first comment on finishing the race was “I NEVER want to do that again!”  It took Mike several hours to warm up after the race.  But by the next day he was hooked.  Dick Traum was a great inspiration to him, and Mike went on to do a number of marathons all over the country over the next few years.

In November of 2013 Mike did his first of two New York City Marathons.  And the highlight for Mike that first year was experiencing the tremendous cheers from the crowd when he crossed the bridge onto Manhattan and turned the corner onto First Avenue.  There were crowds cheering all along the route up to that point.  But every time Mike talked about the huge cheers that he heard when he crossed into Manhattan for the first time, it brought tears to his eyes.  It was a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment of joy that I know stuck with him all his life.

What was Mike up to the past few years?

Mike did 15 or 16 different races, some marathons and some shorter races, from 2012 to 2016.  We love looking at all the medals that he earned over those 5 years.  The last two years were tough though, and Michael experienced a number of serious physical ailments and setbacks.  During those two years he wasn’t able to ride his handcycle or even work out like he wanted to.  We know that he missed that.

 How did you see a change in Mike with Achilles?

Achilles opened a new world to Mike.  Achilles gave him both the courage and the ability to compete in races around the country on his handcycle.  He traveled with the Nashville Achilles team and learned how to do a major race.  The team helped with transportation and equipment and guides and meals and accommodations.  Most of all they provided the camaraderie and team spirit which really motivated all of the athletes.   At the races Mike met some of the wounded warriors and athletes from other Achilles chapters who were also competing on handcycles.  He loved hanging out with them, learning from, and sharing experiences.  And he kept in touch with several of them via email between their races.  Achilles International became Mike’s community for several years.

Can you explain why donating to Achilles is important to you?

After Mike’s accident in 2009 and his three-month rehabilitation he was really looking for a way to continue to improve the quality of his life.  He was working out a lot at Beyond Therapy in Nashville and fitness was becoming part of his daily routine.  Often, as part of his workout, he would go and push in his regular wheelchair on the uphill ramps in a couple of different parking garages in Nashville.  He would do that for 2 or 3 hours at a time and loved the endorphin rush and sense of well-being that it gave him.  Achilles started the Nashville chapter in 2012 and Mike was one of their first athletes.  When Achilles gave Mike his first hand cycle to use, a whole new world opened up to him.  It would be such a great way to honor Mike’s memory by helping to fund the purchase of additional equipment by the Nashville chapter so that others can have their life changed like Mike did.


Our Achilles Nashville Chapter will miss Mike and all our thoughts are with the family during this time.

Hope and Possibility 2018

Save the Date October 20, 2018

In 2014, Achilles Nashville hosted its first annual Hope & Possibility® Race  in May  at the Dominican Campus in Nashville. Hope & Possibility® is the signature race of Achilles International, founded in 2003 by Trisha Meili to honor her remarkable recovery, whose Athlete Tony Rossi (left) Athlete Trish Meili (middle) Olaf Wasternack (right)NY Times best-selling book is titled I Am the Central Park Jogger, A Story of Hope and Possibility. The Hope & Possibility® Race, welcomes athletes of all abilities, from elite runners to walkers to wheelers.

While typical age and gender awards are presented, the race also features award categories for visually impaired athletes, amputees, ambulatory disabled athletes, manual wheelchair users, power wheelchair users, and handcyclists. Race registration in just the first year was over 600 people, and 10% of those were registered in a disability category.

Click Here for Results


Guide Volunteer Application

Welcome to Achilles Nashville!

 We are so excited for you to join us at our weekly practices now!  As you may have seen on our website, our group meets every Wednesday evening from 6:30-8:00 PM at the McCabe Community Center in Sylvan Park. It is helpful to come a few minutes early on your first night so you can get a brief orientation to Achilles!

We will be adding you to our weekly email newsletter. Upon receipt of this email (emails generally go out on Monday mornings) at the beginning of each week, please RSVP for that Wednesday or Saturday practice (when we are training). It is very helpful for us to know who is coming so we can pair athletes and guides appropirately. But please come whenever you can, even if you don’t find time to RSVP. We will always welcome you!

In the meantime if you get a chance please look around our website. There is lots of information for guides and athletes on our site.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Membership Application

Welcome to Achilles Nashville!

We are so excited for you to join us at our weekly practices now!  As you may have seen on our website, our group meets every Wednesday evening from 6:30-8:00 PM at the McCabe Community Center in Sylvan Park. It is helpful to come a few minutes early on your first night so you can get a brief orientation to Achilles!

We will be adding you to our weekly email newsletter. Upon receipt of this email (emails generally go out on Monday mornings) at the beginning of each week, please RSVP for that Wednesday or Saturday practice (when we are training). It is very helpful for us to know who is coming so we can pair athletes and guides appropirately. But please come whenever you can, even if you don’t find time to RSVP. We will always welcome you!

In the meantime if you get a chance please look around our website. There is lots of information for guides and athletes on our site.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Tony Grossi Road Runner of the Year

Tony Grossi on Boston Marathon's Instagram

Tony Grossi was recognized at the annual RRCA Awards. He was selected as the 2017 Road Runner of the Year in the Challenged Athlete category by the Road Runners Club of America. These awards are amongst the top awards in the running world. He was in a category that included:



Tony was also featured on the Boston Marathon’s Instagram account wearing his Achilles shirt no less!
Tony Grossi on Boston Marathon's Instagr

Achilles Nashville Athlete Starts Own Chapter

Athlete Hannah Anderson and director of Achilles Greenville

Hooray to our very own Hannah Anderson, a former Achilles International-Nashville athlete, who recently moved from Nashville to Greenville, SC. Once there, she started an Achilles Greenville Chapter and now serves as the Director. Our Nashville Chapter is a bit proud of her and her new role and wish her all the luck! Go Achilles Greenville!

Below is Hannah’s announcement on Facebook and Instagram about her new role:

I’ll never forget the very first time I placed in a road race and heard my name announced at the awards… “And now, for 3rd place overall female in the 10K, Hannah Anderson, athlete with Achilles International.”
It wasn’t a particularly noteworthy race or finishing time, but I was filled with a sense of accomplishment and absolutely, totally stunned.
As a person with a disability, ‘athlete’ isn’t a word you ever expect to hear about yourself. Most of us assume that athletic achievement is reserved only for the gifted able-bodied, but joining Achilles proved all of my assumptions – about myself and others – totally wrong. At Achilles, I discovered my true capabilities, found a passion for running and racing, and became part of a community of incredible, hard-working runners, from sprinters to ultramarathoners. Achilles is like another family to me, which is why I’m

thrilled to announce that I’ve been officially named the Director of Achilles International’s newest US chapter right here in Greenville, SC! Achilles is founded on the simple principle that everyone should have the chance to get out, run, and compete in mainstream events regardless of their age, ability, or medical/adaptive needs. At Achilles, we define running as any kind of forward motion, whether that’s independent running, running with a guide, wheeling in a wheelchair, or handcycling. If you love to run, think you might want to start, or know anyone (with or without a disability) who wants to get out and run, you are invited to learn more about the Achilles family!


You can contact Hannah or email and don’t forget to like the Insta and Facebook @achillesgvl


It’s our 6th Birthday!

Achilles Nashville's Birthday cake
Hello Friends!
Can you believe it? Achilles Nashville will turn six on Wednesday, April 18th. It would be wonderful to see you at our birthday celebration. As this is on a regular Wednesday practice day, we will meet at 6:30 PM at McCabe Park Community Center on the 18th. Local Taco is providing chips and salsa and Cakes by Skye will be bringing yummy sweet treats. It will be a fun, festive occassion. There will be a 3-mile run/walk on the Greenway and everyone is invited!
We would love to see our past & present: guides, athletes, volunteers, sponsors, board members, friends, service dogs, and families! I really hope you will join us!
Amy & Lizzy