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General Articles - Extras

Clay Egan: A Man Standing Tall

Article written by MoabMan

Date Added: 06/01/2006

Recently, a United Rockcrawling and Off-Road Challenge (UROC) competition was held in northern Utah at the Weber Fairgrounds. Many UROC competitors such as Craig Stumps and others were present and chasing after points to increase their standings in the ov

So why was MoabJeeper Magazine there? Simply to cover the event, take pictures, and watch some really cool rockcrawling. But? Adventure Bob, Mrs. Adventure Bob, and I stumbled upon one 3rd place competitor who stood out from the rest.
This competitor, Clay Egan, was competing for his second year in the modified class with what used to be a Jeep Cherokee. During Clay?s first year he finished the season 20th out of 46 and even qualified for the Super Crawl. (For those who don?t know, Super Crawl is the Super Bowl of professional rockcrawling and is by invitation only.) For 2004, Clay is currently ranked 5th in the series and working his ass off to climb into the top three.
With his outstanding ranking as a second year competitor set aside, another detail makes Clay Egan ?A Man Standing Tall?. Clay Egan has not stood up in ten years. Clay is a quadriplegic competing just as any other driver in the UROC series. 
In competitions a driver is able to get out of the vehicle to help his spotter with rock stacking, up righting his vehicle, or assisting in any other ways necessary. You might think that since Clay obviously is unable to do any of this, the rules might be altered a little for Clay, so that he can compete on an even playing field. Let me be the first to say that Clay definitely plays on this ?even playing field?. There is NO bending of the rules. UROC has certain concrete rules, and if you want to play, then you must abide by them. No exceptions. However, Clay doesn?t ask for any special rules or allowances. He knows the regulations, follows them, and allows skill to do the work that his legs cannot.
How does he do it? That was the first question that came to my mind, and I even asked, what was in hindsight, a dumb question. 

So Clay, did you have to custom build all the hand controls yourself?

{This is when the lights suddenly were turned on in some dark, dusty ignorant part of my brain.}
Clay explained that all of these controls are already available for vehicles to help out the handicapped. He simply adapted them to better serve a vehicle that will not always sit level on all four tires. Once this was done he attacked the competition scene, and never looked back.
Talking with Clay, we learned that ?UROC Competitor? is not the only highlight on his resume. He also hunts, to which Clay will tell you that he must be creative to be stealthy. Yet, Clay is determined to actively live his life and not watch it go by from his wheel chair. He is currently writing an autobiography narrating his unimaginable life-altering shift from a fearless motocross racer to a man who is unable to walk. Additionally, Clay travels as a motivational speaker and visits other handicapped people, hoping to show others that any challenges in life can be overcome, using himself as a living example.

Final Thoughts

Clay Egan is truly someone that stands tall and is someone to be looked up to whether you are handicapped or not. How many times have we given up because something was too hard? Clay is not willing to accept ?too hard? and is living his life fuller than most.

To learn more about Clay Egan, check out his website at www.clayeganracing.com.

Shameless plug to follow:
Clay?s sponsors?
www.TuffShed.com - For your storage needs
www.Toyo.com - For your tire needs
www.Corbeau.com - For vehicle seats

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