Marine who lost legs in Afghanistan completes Boston Marathon - - The News for South Mississippi

Nashville Marine who lost legs in Afghanistan completes Boston Marathon

Ben Maenza (Photo from Facebook) Ben Maenza (Photo from Facebook)

A Middle Tennessee wounded warrior finished in 12th place at the Boston Marathon's hand cycle race Monday.

Marine Lance Cpl. Ben Maenza, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan, covered the 26.2-mile course in just under 1 hour 45 minutes as a member of the Achilles Freedom Team.

Maenza said he was honored to represent the military and his community in the first Boston Marathon since three people were killed and many others were injured in a pair of explosions near the finish line in April 2013.

"Throughout the whole marathon, there was lots of people everywhere, and they were all cheering. And I was just proud that I was blessed with the ability to do that," he said.

Maenza said, more than anything else, he was inspired by his fellow hand cycle competitors. He said it was humbling to see other veterans who had lost even more than he had compete with grace and strength.

"Some of the guys are missing arms and cranking a hand bike just the same as I am. Two guys that are missing arms beat me this year. I think that's really impressive, because not only are they missing limbs, but they're missing arms, and they're still out there doing it," Maenza said.

Maenza said he's now going to turn his attention to his school work at Lipscomb University, although he plans to be out in the crowds Saturday, cheering on competitors at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville.

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