At the annual Boilermaker Wheelchair reception Thursday night, Sitrin honored past and present Boilermaker wheelchair racers. 

Two of the guests of honor were 2014 Boilermaker Wheelchair Challenger Kim Hammond and Paralympian Ryan Chalmers, who is the first athlete to push a racing wheelchair across America.

Chalmers took on the 71-day 3,500 mile challenge as a way to inspire others to take on challenges in their own lives.

This will be Chalmers' 4th Boilermaker and he says it's one of his favorite races because of the recognition wheelchair athletes get from both the race coordinators and the crowds.

Chalmers, who is originally from Rochester, races the 400, 800, and 4 x 400 relay as well as the marathon in the Paralympics.

He added that his father is running the Boilermaker for the first time this year and he's excited to share the experience with him.

Kim Hammond of Gloversville accepted the challenge of attempting to push the entire 15k Boilermaker in a standard wheelchair.

She says although this is her first race, she is looking forward to the challenge.

If she completes the course in under two hours and 15 minutes, Sitrin - who is the major sponsor of the wheelchair division - will award Hammond with a custom fitted racing chair.

Hammond says she's nervous, excited and a little scared, but overall she is proud to be a part of something as big as the Boilermaker.

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