Matt Brown has succeeded in his fight to compete in the New York City Marathon, after the race’s organizers had previously denied him the opportunity.

The Norwood, Mass. native was paralyzed while playing hockey for his high school team when he was 15. Since then, the 19-year-old has teamed up with friend and veteran Lucas Carr to run several marathons and half-marathons, including the Boston Marathon two years ago.

When Brown and Carr sought to enter the New York City Marathon, its organizers told them, “No.” In a statement issued to WBZ-TV earlier this week:

The NYC ING Marathon welcomes the largest and most diverse group of AWD entrants of any major marathon.  Given the logistical complexities of hosting more than 45,000 runners on the course each year, there has been a long-standing policy that entrants must participate in the race under their own propulsion.  We work very hard to accommodate hundreds of participants overcoming great odds and we are looking at potential options in this case.

“It’s telling me and Matt no, you can’t do this and that’s discrimination,” Carr told WBZ-TV. “It doesn’t make him less of a person just because I push him.”

The New York City Marathon received considerable flak for its decision, drawing the ire of former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who gifted Brown the team’s Army Rangers jacket from the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals run.

It worked.

 

 

Facing backlash, the New York Road Runners, the organizing committee behind the race, issued the following statement:

We work very hard to accommodate participants overcoming great odds to compete in the ING New York City Marathon, and NYRR is allowing Mr. Carr and Matt Brown in the race this year given our special efforts to recognize and show solidarity with Boston. We are working on details on how best to accommodate them and ensure the safest and best race for all of the more than 45,000 participants.

The marathon is scheduled for November 3. We’ll be cheering you on, Matt and Lucas.

Photo via Twitter