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Please allow my participation in the 2016 LA Marathon with my mobility device.

This petition had 16,656 supporters

My girlfriend Ally and I were very excited when we heard about the Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon. Not only is the race a 2-person charity relay that takes place on Valentine’s Day, the day coincides with our anniversary and will be benefiting benefiting Good Neighbors USA's clean water initiative. What a perfect way to celebrate our love and give back. Despite Good Neighbors USA being excited about us entering the race, the organizers will not allow us to race because I would be using a long board.

The organizers claim we would be a safety hazard. Ally and I have done everything to show them this is not the case. From sharing videos of me in action to personally inviting organizers to meet us, they will not budge. When I pointed out wheelchairs and handcycles were allowed in the race, we were told if they made an exception for me they’d have to “let racers bring their selfie stick” or “stuffed giraffe for emotional support.” My mobility aid is neither an accessory nor a stuffed toy.

This race is about more than just me. What was at first an exciting adventure with a good cause, has become something more. It’s about those who are perfectly capable and strive to push themselves, being told no. Please join me in getting the organizers of the Sketchers LA Marathon to say yes to me joining the race. Together we can help change attitudes and assumptions about inclusiveness.

My girlfriend and I would never do anything to put others in danger. We would never have asked to be a part of the race if we didn’t think we were capable. I firmly believe that requesting to race on my long-board is a minor concession. There are separate divisions for wheelchairs and handcycles, why would allowing my longboard be so much more complicated?

We want to start an open dialogue across all media platforms to draw attention to the current policies that prevent a truly inclusive event. We hope that a greater understanding of the impact of their decision will allow them to feel comfortable accepting our participation in this year’s marathon. As I mentioned, I feel that allowing my participation in the race with my long-board is a very minor concession and far from a safety issue.

I invite you to help support us by signing this petition in the hopes that we will be allowed to compete in the 2016 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon 2-Person Charity Relay. In the meantime, Ally and I will continue to prepare to run/board this marathon and still want to raise as much money as we can for Good Neighbors clean water initiative in Zambia. Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this and for all your support.

Today: Chris is counting on you

Chris Koch needs your help with “Los Angeles Marathon: Allow my participation in the 2016 LA Marathon with my mobility device.”. Join Chris and 16,655 supporters today.