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AK State House Majority Caucus press release: Bill Honoring Handcycle Athlete Mark Hufford Passes (HB 213)


HB 213 Names Section of Eagle River trail after Ultra-Challenge Mainstay

Thursday, April 07, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House of Representatives today unanimously passed a bill honoring the life and memory of Mark Hufford, one of the state’s premier handcycle athletes, who died in January from pneumonia at the age of 40.

House Bill 213, sponsored by Finance Vice-Chair Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River, names a section of trail parallel to Eagle River Loop Road near North Parkview Terrace Loop after Hufford. “Mark was an inspiration to many for overcoming the mental and physical impacts of paralysis to continue to live life and compete at the highest level of his sport,” Fairclough said. “The Ultra Challenge is one of the premier handcycle races in the entire world, athletes come from across the globe to compete – and Mark was right there, winning two Fastest Alaskan awards in seven races.”

Hufford, who was paralyzed from the waist down after falling from a hunting blind in 1995, worked for the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and lived and trained in Eagle River. “The section of trail this bill directs to be named for Mark has a special meaning to his family,” Fairclough said. “It can also stand as a reminder and inspiration to the community that will miss seeing him pedaling along it, and others, of Mark’s ‘never give up’ mindset.”

HB 213 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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