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Joe Lawhorn pedals through Chillicothe during Race Across America for veterans

CHILLICOTHE, OH (WCMH) -- Long-distance cyclist Joe Lawhorn is into day ten of the Race Across America. 

When he's finished, he'll have pedaled over 3,000 miles coast to coast

On Friday, the route took him through his hometown of Chillicothe.

People gathered all along the route to cheer him on, as he headed towards the hardest section of the route through the Appalachian Mountains. 

“I feel like I’m on fire right now," said Joe. “I feel a lot of love and support... I guarantee you all of this is going to be in my head to push me through.”
He was over 2,5000 miles into the race and still riding strong. His wife and crew chief, Heather Lawhorn, said he's only been sleeping about 3 hours a day.
“I only sleep when he sleeps because I need to make sure he’s ok," she said. 
Heather said Joe plans to push through to the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland, barely stopping.
“It’s a really good feeling knowing that so many people are out there showing their support to him," she said. "It was pretty cool."
His stop in Chillicothe marked 513 miles left to go in the race. Supporters said they wouldn't miss seeing him pedal through.
“We need to be out here for him," said Matt Cox. "He’s doing it for other veterans. It’s just exciting to see him. It’s good for Chillicothe.”
Joe served in the Army and Marines for 12 years. He was placed on a permanently disabled list, struggling with PTSD and physical injuries.
“It’s just a story of overcoming... between his family and cycling, he’s found a reason to keep going," said friend Scott Neff. “He’s just an inspiration and a guy people could learn a lot from.”
Joe was welcomed into town with fire trucks, American flags, fellow veterans, friends, family and a special surprise. His daughter Izzy Lawhorn was there to cheer him on. She had been staying with her grandparents during the race.
“I’ve never seen my dad cry," said Izzy. “I couldn’t be happier than I am now.”
With his wife and daughter by his side, along with a city full of people supporting him, Joe kept pedaling forward.
"It’s become more than just the race," said Joe. “People tell me that I’m inspiring and I’m motivating. They ought to see it through my eyes, it’s the other way around."

Heather said Joe is on track to finish the race in the allotted time of 12 days. It's taken him through deserts, mountain ranges and the plains. 
Joe said during the first few days of the race the heat indexes were over 120 degrees in Arizona. It was so hot, it melted the tread off of his tires.
Joe, Heather and Izzy will be honorary guests of NBC4 at Red, White and Boom. 



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