What we do
We push riders with a special need in customized racing wheelchairs to help them participate in and complete fitness events –5Ks, 10Ks, or marathons – experiences that they would not be able to have on their own.
We are always looking for new ways to connect with people and partner with organizations to raise awareness and foster inclusion of any need that is special. Welcome to Speed for Need!
The mission of Speed for Need is to raise awareness and foster inclusion of those with a special need through participation in fitness events supported by the men of F3 Nation.
We push Track Commanders (riders with a special need) in customized racing wheelchairs to help them participate in and complete fitness events such as 5Ks, 10Ks, or marathons – experiences that they would not be able to have on their own.
Track Commanders lead the way in every Speed for Need event. The synergy created between the Track Commanders, drivers, runners, and spectators helps:
- raise awareness for social causes
- encourage inclusion
- connect Track Commanders with F3 Nation and the overall fitness community
The Track Commanders motivate us and others to step up, engage, and be servant leaders. So the question stands…Who Pushes Who?
- Participation in Speed for Need events are always free of charge to Track Commanders (Track Commanders are the riders that are pushed in customized racing wheelchairs)
- Participation in a Speed for Need event is available to all those unable to complete a race on their own accord, regardless of their special need
- All Track Commanders will be met and fitted in a racing chair by an experienced F3 Nation driver, prior to the event, in order to ensure the highest level of safety
- The primary driver of the racing chair is a trained, responsible, member of F3 Nation, or has been approved by Speed for Need leadership
How We Got Started
Speed for Need was born out of the love of a father and the passion of the men of F3 Nation to have a positive impact on the lives of others. We pushed our first Track Commander, Owen, in the American 4 Miler in Charlotte, NC on 7/8/2017 and haven’t looked back since.
Where We Are Now
Since our inception in July 2017, Speed for Need has been privileged to run with nearly 300 Track Commanders in 83 races. We have also led or attended more than 30 community events. None of this would be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers that run, push and cheer on our Track Commanders!
Who Pushes Who?
Anyone with a special need (child or adult) is eligible to participate as a Track Commander (rider) in a Speed for Need event. A special need can be a physical or cognitive disability (examples: Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, etc) or recovering from a disease (examples: Breast Cancer, Sarcoma, etc) or a variety of other things. Typically, a Track Commander is an individual that would not be able to complete the race on their own accord due to their special circumstances. A good example would be our elder Military Veterans riding as Track Commanders during events honoring our service men and women.
Raising Awareness & Fostering Inclusion Since 2017
We’ve pushed over 300 riders with a special need and helped them finish the race
Our impact is largely measured in the number of smiles and amount of laughter coming from the Track Commanders that we push. There is no greater impact than helping others feel included and loved. Who Pushes Who?
YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS, WE’VE GOT ANSWERS
Why does SFN refer to a person riding in the racing chair as a Track Commander?
In US military terms, the Track Commander is always the highest ranking officer in the vehicle. Similarly in any SFN event, we believe the most important person is the person riding in the racing chair, the Track Commander. This is why the Track Commander always leads the way and crosses the finish line first.
What is a SFN driver?
Also a US Military term, the Driver (person who is behind the wheel of a military vehicle) holds a lower rank than the Track Commander. The Driver’s primary mission is getting the Track Commander safely from one destination to the next, without fail. No matter how fast the Driver pushes, they will always finish behind the Track Commander, in every race. The Track Commander is first, and the Driver is second.
Does participation in a SFN event as a Track Commander cost Anything?
Absolutely not! The race entry is always free for Track Commanders. We are honored that you are giving us the opportunity to get you, as the Track Commander, to the finish line. We also provide SFN swag in the form of an event t-shirt and medal to all Track Commanders! Drivers and supporters must pay their own event entry fee. Typically, our Event Q’s will try to obtain a discount code for any F3 Nation pax that are running with SFN.
Does sfn run in events all year?
SFN is busy making an impact in our communities year round. However, due to the colder weather, and because the safety and enjoyment of our Track Commanders are our top priority, our event calendar usually starts in early March and ends around the end of November. However, SFN also leads speaking engagements in an effort to raise awareness for social causes, foster inclusion, and otherwise connect Track Commanders with F3 Nation and the overall fitness community.
who do I contact if i am a race director and I would like sfn to push at my event?
We are always looking to partner with events where there is a need for us to help get a Track Commander to the finish line, particularly when the race supports a social cause. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.
how does sfn use their tax-deductible donations?
SFN is a 100% volunteer led organization. We have no paid employees. 100% of donations received go directly to our mission. A few of the regular expenses we incur are for racing chairs, insurance, trailer and storage rental, racing chair maintenance, race swag for TCs (medals, shirts, sticker, patches, etc). Our dedicated board of directors are continually trying to come up with new and innovative ideas on how to best raise awareness and foster inclusion of current and potential Track Commanders.
Can I donate to sfn and are those donations tax-deductible?
are you available for speaking engagements?
Absolutely! Our mission is to raise awareness and foster inclusion of those with a special need. Typically that is done through participation in fitness events. However, we feel that we are also able serve by leading discussions and speaking to the public. If you would like us to come speak to your group, email us at email@example.com.
how do i go about pushing my own child in races? can I borrow or rent one of your chairs?
Awesome! We’re glad you are interested. Speed for Need is not the right fit for everyone. If you have a passion for pushing someone with a special need outside of F3 Nation or SFN, please visit our sister organization, Ainsley’s Angels of America. They can help set you up with a fundraiser to buy a racing chair and you can race regularly under their banner. Alternatively, you can contact Hoyt Running Chairs and purchase a top-end racing chair, similar to the racing chairs that we use.
SFN racing chairs are used exclusively at approved SFN events and are not available to be borrowed or rented. If you have a Track Commander who would like to participate in an approved SFN event, let us know and we’d be happy to find a race for them to be pushed in. Please see our Event Calendar and submit a Track Commander Information Form to get connected with our organization.
do you have your own podcast?
That’s a great idea! Right now, we do not. However, we have spoken twice on F3 Nation’s podcast and you can hear them both on Soundcloud. If you are a member of F3 Nation looking to get involved in SFN, the below podcast is extremely helpful in outlining what to do next:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/404102055″ params=”visual=true&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=500&maxheight=750&dnt=1″ width=”100%” height=”400″ iframe=”true” /]
Are there safety and instructional videos that I am able to view prior to the event?
Above all else, safety is our #1 priority at SFN. We cannot accomplish our mission if what we do at our core, pushing racing chairs, is not a safe experience for everyone involved. In addition to hands-on training and instruction, the following safety videos are available and required for any Driver to watch in advance of a race.
Can I be a SFN driver?
- If you are an active member of the SFN organization (an active PAX of F3 Nation) or have been approved by SFN leadership, you are eligible to be a Driver of a racing chair in an SFN event, after completing the proper safety and organizational training.
- Navigate to the ‘About Us‘ page for more information on the SFN Mission and Core Standards.
Is there a height and weight requirement for a track commander to ride in a sfn racing chair?
The tallest TC we have pushed (so far) in a race was 6’3” and he had to bend his legs a little to fit in the racing chair. The maximum weight of a TC the racing chair can accommodate is 200lbs. The racing chairs are not designed for babies, infants, and most toddlers who may be too small to fit in the strapping system and may not sit still. If you have any further questions, please reach out directly to set up some time to see and test out the racing chair.
what areas do you serve?
Currently, we primarily serve Track Commanders in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding area. We have participated in races as far North as Virginia Beach, VA and as far South as Lexington, SC. We are always looking to expand to serve as many Track Commanders as possible. Thus, if you are interested in starting the conversation to bring SFN to your region, please contact us directly.
i am a member of f3 nation and would like to host an event. How do i get started?
- F3 Region that has previously hosted a SFN Event: Please review the SFN Event Q Handbook. Discuss any questions with your SFN Regional Q. Then complete the Event Request Form once you can agree to the standards for hosting a race. One of the members from our Board of Directors will be in contact to discuss your event and answer any questions.
- F3 Region that is new to SFN and has not previously hosted a SFN Event: Please review the SFN Event Q Handbook. Then complete the Event Request Form once you can agree to the standards for hosting a race. One of the members from our Board of Directors will be in contact to discuss your event and answer any questions. Of course, you are always welcome to contact us directly to discuss any questions ahead of filling out the Event Request Form.
Does SFN have any paid employees?
Absolutely not! None of our SFN board members or regional representatives are paid to carry out the mission of SFN, and that’s the way we like it. We are a 100% volunteer led organization made up of men from F3 Nation trying to serve through passion for their community.
i am interested in promoting sfn. where can i get a logo or flier and who approves them?
Both the phrases ‘Speed for Need‘ and ‘Who Pushes Who?’ are registered word marks which are the property of Speed For Need, Inc. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to use word marks, and/or any photos, videos, logos, or promotional material.
how can my organization partner with sfn?
We are always looking to find innovating ways to partner with other organizations to further serve those with a special need. Please email email@example.com with any partnership ideas and/or to prospective Track Commanders that may be interested in participating in one of our events.
who makes your racing chairs and how can I purchase one?
The official racing chair of Speed for Need is the ‘Blade’ which is fabricated by our partner Hoyt Running Chairs.
where can i buy speed for need swag?
All proceeds from Speed for Need swag goes directly to our mission of raising awareness and fostering inclusion of our Track Commanders. Here are a couple ways to buy SFN swag:
- You can purchase our adult t-shirts at several Charlotte Running Company Stores in Charlotte (Locations: Mooresville, Huntersville) or at the SFN tent at select events.
- SFN Shirt Sizes: We have kids (S,M,L) and Adults (S,M,L,XL,XXL) shirts
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
If you are interested in learning more information or have any questions about Speed for Need, please fill out the form below: