Bangor Man Flips 400-Lb Tire One Mile In Under 3 Hours For Veterans
Mike Laliberte of Bangor is no stranger to overcoming challenges. He was shot in the leg during a hunting accident when he was 12. Now he's 46 years old. The accident left his right leg and foot with deformities and mobility issues.
"I managed to work through it and have been an athlete my entire life. Fast forward to 2015, [I] had someone say to me that 'there is no way you can flip that tire a mile with that messed up leg.' And the tire challenge was born."
In 2019, Laliberte would suffer another setback that would leave him down for a bit, but not out.
"In the winter of 2019 I had a wound on my foot that led to sepsis and osteomyelitis. I made the decision to have the leg amputated and in January of 2020, I had the leg amputated."
Unbelievably, lacking a leg did not stop Laliberte from resuming his "Tire Challenge" and he went on to complete it again in 2020. But this year, he was inspired to join his personal challenge with an important cause.
"I decided with the amount of attention that the event received in 2020, that in 2021 and on I wanted to raise funds for a cause. The Maine Veterans Project was an easy choice. With my father a Purple Heart retired marine, and close friends involved to the project it made sense."
So this year, Laliberte set a goal to raise $10,000 for the Maine Veterans Challenge, by pushing a 400lb skidder tile one mile, in under 3 hours. (Check out his Fundraising Page here.)
"I have two sons and a wife who support my crazy antics and are as driven as I am."
But his wife and sons weren't the only ones supporting Laliberte this time around.
Fellow veteran, Robin Larlee, lives in Orono. She heard about Laliberte's efforts through a friend's Facebook page, and decided to join him for the last push of his challenge.
"I was in the army national guard, I deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-2010 in support of operation enduring freedom. As soon as I heard Mike was doing this, I packed up my 8 month old and headed to Bangor to find him and support him."
Larlee said watching Laliberte was nothing short of inspiring.
"Walking with him the last quarter mile was absolutely inspiring. You could tell he was getting tired, but he never gave up. You could see the determination on his face, and the determination to finish what he started. He truly is an amazing person for doing this for the Maine veterans project. As a veteran myself, I just wanted to show him that he had support."
Not only did Mike Laliberte finish his tire challenge, this past hot and humid Saturday afternoon, he did so in under 3 hours. It took him 2 hours, 41 minutes and 41 seconds to complete one mile.
Laliberte's fundraising page will be up until Wednesday June 30th. At last check he was just over $1,000 shy of his $10,000 goal.
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