Firsts

Patrick’s 43 World Firsts

Seventeen years of exhaustive, intense physical therapy, of falling down and getting up, of scabby elbows and knees on the way to recovery give a man time to dream greater dreams, like becoming the first fully functional spinal cord-injured quadriplegic to participate in Auto Racing. Now you can read Patrick’s story in his own words, and experience his adventures and endeavors along with him in Green Bananas, Pat’s new book.

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1: April 1991: Patrick was the first Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Quadriplegic to complete a 5K run, Big Horn, WY.
2. May 1991: Patrick was the first SCI Quadriplegic to run/participate and compete in a sprint triathlon as a fundraiser for SCI research and the Thunder Child Treatment Center, Buffalo, WY.
3. July 1991: In Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to swim/bike/run/participate and complete an Olympic distance triathlon. This triathlon raised awareness and funds for SCI research.
4. Aug. 1992: In Spokane, WA, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to swim/bike/run/participate and complete a half Iron Man triathlon to raise awareness and funds for SCI research.
5. Aug. 1992: In Spokane, WA, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to run a half marathon (21,097.5 meters, or 13-7/64 miles, about 13.1 miles).
6. Aug. 1992: In Spokane, WA, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to swim 1.2 miles in competition.
7. Aug. 1992: In Spokane, WA, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to bike 56 miles in competition.
8. Oct. 1992: In Hawaii, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to swim 2.5 miles in competition.
9. Oct. 1992: In Hawaii, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to bike 112 miles in competition.
10. Oct. 1992: In Hawaii, Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to run a marathon, 26.2 miles .
11. December, 1992: Patrick was featured on NBC for being the first SCI Quadriplegic to participate/run and complete one of the world’s most grueling physical events, the world renowned Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon, again as a fundraiser for SCI research.
12. Sept. 1994: Patrick became the first physically challenged athlete to receive three Presidential Sports Awards by achieving goal standards set up for able-bodied persons.
13. Feb. 1995: Patrick became the first physically challenged person to participate in a racing/driving school (Toyota Fast Lane).
14. Feb. 1997: Patrick became the first physically challenged athlete who, with 81 able-bodied athletes from around the world, ran in the Antarctic Marathon. This endeavor was to raise funds and awareness for Washington University School of Medicine’s SCI program– another first for a SCI Quadriplegic.
15. Aug 1997: Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to qualify for and receive a FIA driver’s license.
16. Aug 1997: Patrick became the first human to drive an electric car over 220 MPH with an unofficial one-way run average of 237 MPH.
17. June 1998: Patrick was the first SCI Quadriplegic to test in a NASCAR at the Texas Speedway to raise awareness and funds for SI research
18. Aug. 1999: Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to set a USA National Land Speed Record (239 MPH)
19. Aug. 1999: Patrick became the first SCI Quadriplegic to be inducted into the Bonneville 200 MPH club.
20. October 1999: Patrick raised funds and awareness for SCI research by becoming the first SCI Quadriplegic to set a new FIA World Land Speed Record of 245.5 MPH in an electric car (that record still stands today). The event raised awareness and funds for SCI research.
21. October 1999: Patrick becomes the first human to take an electric car over 220 mph, then 230mph, 240mph and 250mph.
22. October 1999: Patrick becomes the first SCI Quadriplegic to set a new FIA World Land Speed Record of 395.133 kilometers per hour (that still stands today in an electric car) to raise awareness and funds for SCI research.
23. Oct. 1999: Patrick became the first human to drive an electric car over 250 MPH and set a USA National Land Speed Record (251 MPH).
24. March 2000: Patrick was the first physically challenged/SCI Quadriplegic athlete to participate in and finish the LA Marathon without the use of mechanical aids. This was to raise awareness and funds for SCI research.
25. Oct. 2000: Patrick was the first physically challenged/SCI Quadriplegic athlete to receive the InterSport/ESPN amateur athlete of the year ARETE award.
26. Oct. 2000: Patrick was the first physically challenged/SCI Quadriplegic athlete to participate in a SCCA road racing event held at Gateway Speedway.
27. June 2001: Patrick was the first physically challenged/SCI Quadriplegic athlete to throw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. (The Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field in Chicago.)
28. Dec. 2003: Patrick was the first SCI Quadriplegic to test in an Infinity Pro formula car with the Sam Schmidt Racing team in Las Vegas to raise awareness and funds for SCI research.
29. June 2004: Patrick was the first physically challenged/SCI Quadriplegic athlete to run and carry the Olympic torch in the Olympic relay.
30. June 2004: Patrick was the first SCI Quadriplegic to drive in a NASCAR event with the LaddCo race team at the Irwindale half-mile speedway.
31. Aug. 2005: Patrick set another Land Speed Record in Gil Gillis’s 1927 Modified Roadster at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats, building more awareness for the plight of SCI.
32. Aug. 2005: Patrick was the first physically challenged/ SCI Quadriplegic to drive another Quadriplegic in a NASCAR Cup car around Dover Raceway.
33. May, 2006:. Against all odds Patrick becomes the first physically challenged athlete to participate in and finish a stage in an Adventure Race– the most grueling athletic pursuit on Earth. His latest 155 mile foot race exploits took place in China’s Gobi Desert as a participant in Racing the Planet’s Gobi March, and his diary of the experience reveals an indomitable spirit. As always this was a fundraiser for SCI research and for increasing more awareness for the plight of SCI.
34. May, 2008: Patrick is the first physically challenged/ SCI Quadriplegic to qualify and receive an NHRA Super Comp Drag Racing License (Cecil Country Dragway, Cecil County, MD.)
35. May, 2009: First SCI Quadriplegic to race a dragboat. (Marine Creek Lake in Ft. Worth, Texas.)
36. October 2009: First SCI Quadriplegic to participate in professional drag racing, during the National Guard ADRL Finals in Ennis, Texas.
37. Sept. 8, 2011: First SCI Quadriplegic to test in a Grand Am race series GTO. (Watkins Glen International race track.)
38. April 18, 2012: Patrick became the first fully functional quadriplegic to work on the line assembling Corvettes at the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY.
39. May 2013: the First Fully Functional Quadriplegic to receive the coveted Henry Viscardi Leadership award.
40. April 2014: First Fully Functional Quadriplegic to test and race the new 2014 C7 Corvette StingRay on a race track.
41.  April 2014: First Fully Functional Quadriplegic to take another quadriplegic (two quads at speed on a road course race track) for hot laps around a race track in the new 2014 C7 Corvette StingRay.
42.  May 2015: First time three quadriplegic sailed 25 miles (Baltimore to Annapolis) in under 4 hours.

43. July 2015: 1st Quadriplegic to climb Rabbit Ears Peak near Steamboat, Colorado.