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Paralyzed athlete finishes Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Josh Smith never met a challenge he did not accept with vigor. But the 25-year old Richmond man tackledone of his toughest tasks yet -- the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k.

"I was really active before my accident so I wanted to stay active," the L.C. Bird High School graduate said.

His life took a turn for the worse a year and half ago while at Virginia Beach.

"So I ran into the ocean and dove into the wave and my head hit a sandbar and broke my neck and instantly paralyzed me from the neck down," he said.

From that day on Josh has not been able to walk.

"You basically have to relearn how to live," he said.

While Josh has accepted his injury, he does not let it define him.

He started training for the 10K months ago, with help from Sportable. Sportable is a Richmond non-profit that helps athletes see past their disabilities.

Josh said through his ups and downs, he has tried to remain positive.

"I tell people, especially in wheelchairs, that it is kind of ironic that you`re not going to go anywhere unless you push yourself. Literally and figuratively," he said. "Being able to do the 10K actually empowers me."

Smith finsihjed the race in 01:32:00. He said he enjoyed the race and is looking forward to next year's event.

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