The Boilermaker 15K is a tough race for all participants, but especially so for wheelchair racers. One racer gave it his all and finished after breaking his hip in a spill along the course.

AJ Timperlake was a wheelchair challenger in the Boilermaker 15K - which means he raced in a conventional wheelchair in the hopes of winning a racing chair. AJ has been confined to a wheelchair since breaking his back and right hip in a 2014 ATV accident.

Credit: Kim Miranda

AJ finished the Boilermaker 15K in 1:51:43 after sustaining a fractured hip in a spill on Champlin Avenue, in Utica. His girlfriend, Kim Miranda, tells the story on her Facebook page:

"My bf, Aj Timperlake was the wheelchair challenger this year. He fell out of his chair by St. Luke's hospital. He insisted that the other racers that wanted to notify the emt's, help him back into his chair. He completed the race in 1hour 51mins. They sent him into the medical tent and he was complaining of his r hip hurting. We have been at St. E's and his X-ray results show that it is broken. So, this incredible man, who finished the race under the allotted time and won the racing chair wants to know if anyone caught it on video???"

 

According to Kim, AJ is currently in the hospital awaiting surgery to repair the fracture to his hip - it's unknown how long recovery will take.

Credit: Heather Wasilewski

This Boilermaker is just one chapter of an amazing love story between Kim and AJ. Their love story goes back to kindergarten, where they were each others' first kiss. They went their separate ways, but reunited in 2004 - and have been together ever since.

Kim says "he says he looked for me for years - lol - I don't believe that but I definitely thought about him frequently growing up." Kim says that AJ has been nothing short of a hero in her life as well, taking on the role of stay-at-home Dad so that she could earn her nursing degree.

Credit: kim Miranda

After his accident, AJ was more concerned about Kim than his own injury - and with good reason - Kim is expecting their first child together in just over a month. 

The good news is that AJ does get the racing wheelchair - the bad news is that he needs to recover from his fractured hip before he gets to use it - in the meantime, he and Kim will welcome a new son. 

UPDATED: Now that AJ's hospital stay will be longer than anticipated, AJ and Kim are hoping to move into a more accessible home - and Kim has started a Go Fund Me to help raise funds for that, and for help while AJ is recovering from his hip surgery.

"Not just a man inspiring others with disabilities. A man inspiring the world!! Aj Timperlake was challenged to complete the 15k boilermaker road race in his everyday wheelchair, for the chance to win a custom made racing chair. Not only did he complete the race under the 2 hr. 15 min. mark, he did it with a broken hip in 1hr. 51mins. Four years ago he was put into his wheelchair after crashing his 3 wheeler off a forty foot ravine, into a creek bed after losing control on some loose gravel. Thankfully I found him 20 mins after he crashed and is still here. We are having a baby next month. I have been the only one working since his original accident. And will be out on maternity leave/family leave for 8/16 weeks. He always talks about being able to move/have a more accessible home. And as of right now, we live in a mobile home. There are three bedrooms but one room is medical supplies storage. Trying to figure out the best setup for our new son (and we have our 15 year old daughter-destiny). Not to mention...where the heck are we going to store his new racing chair...and his basketball wheelchair that will be done soon.lol. We love this amazing man and see that so many of you do as well. So any little bit helps and we will see where this gets us. Thank you!! Our motto has been for four years...one day at a time!"

AJ's dedication and determination should be a lesson to all of us - when the going gets tough, the tough keep going.