Handcycle Marathon #challenge2015

Before the days of being confined to a wheelchair I used to help out as a volunteer at a local youth theatre company called WAWWA,

I had the pleasure of working with some amazing young people in my time there and worked the stage on some fantastic shows.

The problem with young people are they are addictive and if you are willing to open your mind they will teach you more than you can ever wish to teach them and that is exactly why I loved them all so very much.

One girl really stands out in my mind Tash a great kid and a wonderful family of whom I was and still am very dear of.  But one day the phone rang and I was presented with the worst new imaginable……………

On February the 14th a day I will never forget Tash was taken from us she died from Toxic Shock Syndrome, this is not common and the symptoms can if known be very clear unfortunately for Tash these where missed because her family did not know what they where. Since Tash’s death her family have campaigned to make sure as many people as possible are aware that Toxic Shock Syndrome exists and are aware of the symptoms.

My Next Challenge is aimed at raising awareness and to do this I decided that a very fitting challenge should start at point that has meaning so for me there was nowhere more suiting than where it all started and WAWWA rehearsal room just had to be that place.

I decided that as my life has changed so much since being in a wheelchair that I wanted to do something that would show a real challenge to me something that would raise awareness and make people want to know what I was doing and why I was doing it so I decided on a push maybe a marathon or something like that but I didn’t want to get swallowed up in the crowd and I wanted to make it a stand the best way I could and after all I really wanted to start at WAWWA.

After much deliberation I decided I would take myself on a journey, and that would end in the very place a young angel stepped into heaven and the world celebrated the great life of such an amazing young lady the lovely St Priory Church in Chepstow.

And so the planning began the route has been decided and the distance is 21.6 miles taking on long roads up steep hills and also back down again I had a support vehicle to follow me driven by Owain and I done this in a quickie handcycle up until I completed this I had not cleared anything close to this distance and the whole thing was completed using only my hands as the source of power. I was nervous but I couldn’t wait to hit the roads for another milestone challenge with a great team and for a great cause.

The ride itself was hard I can lie it rained hard the whole way and within 10 meters in I was soaked through and it stayed that way till the end we battled the wet and the cold and the hills where long and tiring the last hill of all nearly broke me but with the support of those around me I battled on till the top. With one of the team being seriously affected by the cold we needed to get her off the bike and in the warm the bike was loaded up into the car and the challenge continued one thing I have learnt is there is no point putting yourself at risk. Then another of the team got a puncher and suddenly the spare bike came into its own so a quick swap and we where back on, finally the last hill and then down to the finish line freezing cold and soaked through the feeling was immense and the challenge was complete….