Rick Ball: ATU Marathon Man

Rick Ball, a TTC Subway Mechanic from Orillia, is a long-time member of ATU 113 who lost his left leg below the knee in a 1986 accident. He took up running in 2007 and quickly became a world-class amputee Marathoner with the dream of running in the world’s most prestigious Marathon in Boston.

On April 20, 2009, Rick not only ran in the 113th Boston Marathon but did so in record-breaking time. At 3:01:50, he finished in the top six percent of all runners in the Marathon and handily beat the previous 3:04:00 record for a single amputee set by Australian Amy Winters at the 2007 Chicago Marathon. Ball’s time is recognized as the new world record by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

“We are thrilled that Rick has achieved his dream of setting a world record in the world’s most famous marathon,” says Bob Kinnear, President of ATU 113, which represents 9,000 workers at the Toronto Transit Commission.

“Besides being a world class runner, he is also a world class human being, who gives much of his time to inspiring and helping children achieve their own dreams. We could not be prouder that he is a member of our union.”

One month after Boston, Rick set a new world record for the 10K distance at the Nordion Ottawa 10K Marathon. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to join Canada’s Paralympics Team and began the journey toward his next dream of representing Canada in the 2012 London Paralympics. On June 27, 2009, Rick ran the 10,000 meter event at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Toronto and finished an amazing 14th overall, winning the Gold Medal in the T44 category (single leg amputee).

For an up-to-date history of this amazing athlete, visit his Facebook page and become a fan.