Amputees dressed like superheroes will be racing through four miles of obstacle courses in upstate New York this weekend as they complete the SuperHero Scramble.

Thomas Mills, an 34-year-old amputee who lost part of his right leg in a motorcycle accident in 2003, completed the Tough Mudder, a 10-12 mile long military-style obstacle course, earlier in the year. It's a self-described "hardcore" race designed by British Special Forces with more than 1 million participants worldwide.

"I figured I'd just be a one-legged idiot in costume making people laugh on the course," Mills told the NY Daily News. "But it turned into something different. People came by to shake my hand. People doubled over with a cramp would immediately straighten up and say, if he can do it, I can do it."

After losing a limb, amputees often face depression and a loss of identity. A 2003 study found that 34.7 percent of those with a traumatic lower amputation, as well as 51.4 percent of those with a surgical lower amputation, experienced depression.

The UK Limb Loss Information Centre states on its website that after going through the stages of denial, anger, depression, and eventually acceptance, amputees must face compounding factors that include financial issues, loss of self-esteem, fear of rejection, and the loss of independence when having to rely on other people for basic physical needs.

In order to help amputees cope with their altered lives post-amputation, Mills created the Hero Within Foundation, which trains amputees in obstacle course races. They race together under the name "Superman Walks."

"Individual recognition gives way to team commitment, and ego is replaced by the satisfaction of seeing the weakest member of a team cross the finish line," the website states. Through teamwork, exercise and humor, Mills hopes to find a way to bring out the best of those who have gone through amputations after sudden accidents.

One addition to the Superman Walks team is a 10-year-old who shares its founder's name: Thomas Mills. Young Mills, who is confined to a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, had always wanted to race in obstacle courses along with his athletic parents, but didn't see why most races weren't wheelchair-friendly.

In June, the older Mills, along with 40 other participants, steered and pulled young Mills' wheelchair through the SuperHero Scramble in South Carolina for nearly four hours, making the youth's dream come true.

"Nothing has brought me more happiness," Mills told the NY Daily News.