SARASOTA COUNTY - One year after a traumatic shoulder injury, a former cyclist will take on his 3rd Half Marathon in the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon. He hopes his story will inspire you to sign up for the race too.

 To Sarasota resident, Michael Belle, cycling was everything;a high–speed mental and physical challenge 5 to 6 days a week for more than 25 years. That all changed last May at a Fort De Soto time trial race. He said, "I was having the race of a lifetime. Unfortunately, there was a hand cyclist in front of me that was going a little slower...a lot slower. I was going about 20 miles faster than he was going."

Belle collided into the hand cyclist and was launched 20 ft into air. He said, "The way the doctor put it is some people break their shoulder, and then some people really break their shoulder, and I actually exploded it. It was pretty devastating."

Belle was determined to find a new vice, his doctor recommended running. So, he traded in two wheels, for two sneakers. Belle hired SRQ Running Head Coach, Holly Johnson. "He literally could not finish a mile without walking when he started. He thought "How am I ever going to do this?" and I said, "It's one step at a time, you have to walk before you run,'" she said.

Belle coped with a shattered collarbone and a shattered ego, but he refused to give up. He said, "I thought I was going to go out and be a decent runner because I was a halfway decent cyclist and that wasn't the case."

Belle worked his way up to running 50 miles a week. Next weekend, less than one year after his crash, Belle will take on his third half marathon at the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon. He said, "I always remind myself that I'm always going to be faster than the person sitting on the couch." Belle's next challenge is taking on the New York City Marathon.

If a half marathon or 10K isn't your speed this year the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon extends into a weekend long event, introducing a 5K Saturday through Downtown Sarasota. To register, click here