Wheels and Heels 5K at Lake St. Clair Metro Park in Harrison Township

DETROIT (WXYZ) - If you think taking part in a race is about speed, winning, or even finishing - this story may give you another perspective.

Sometimes it is about the strength of the human spirit.

Eight months ago 21-year-old Jacob Baier was driving when he lost control and crashed into a ditch.  He lost the full use of his legs.

Now he says he’s just trying to figure out how to live in a wheelchair, and doing so living alone in Detroit - 5 hours from his hometown of East Jordan.

He’s here so he can get hours of the best therapy available at the DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.

Saturday he is one of many who will overcome challenges at the Rehab Institute of Michigan Foundation’s Wheels and Heels 5K at Lake St. Clair Metro Park in Harrison Township.

The race is open to runners, walkers, and hand cyclists.

This is one of the biggest races in the area for hand cyclists. Dozens will be taking part - including Jacob - who has never been on the machines - even in rehab.

Also taking part is Detroit Firefighter David Allen. He suffered a spinal cord injury when a ceiling fell on him as he fought a fire in February 2012.  He says he will be walking - and every step he takes is part of a fight for his life.

“I’ve been fighting for my health,” Allen says. “Fighting through this bankruptcy for health benefits which I don have anymore. No one told me life would be easy. It’s just a fight.  Life is a fight.

He doesn’t know if he will finish - but he knows he will give it the best he’s got.  You are welcome to take part.  The race starts at 11:30 Saturday. 

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