As many of you will be aware, 2017 hasn’t gone to plan. ‘The plan’ had been to have a superb season with many first time road races for me like the Paris Marathon and the Great North Run, as well as returning to some old favourites, including a 5th consecutive Yorkshire Marathon. Instead complex health problems have meant that I’ve not raced a single time in 2017 and had 6 months where training was completely off limits.
Back in July I used my blog to share the news that I was able to get back to some light training and that I was hoping to be able to race in Bury this September. I’ve waited to confirm this until I was confident it would be do-able, but I’m pleased to be able to share some very exciting news – that whilst I’ll only be racing the once this year I’ll be doing 2 10km’s in September! (Bear with me, and read on!)
Firstly, I’m really pleased to confirm that I will be doing the Bury 10km on Sunday 17th September. This will be my only proper race of 2017, and the only time I’ll be sitting on a 10km start line in my racing chair this year. As I mentioned back in July this race will give me an opportunity to gauge where my training is at and focus my training ahead of a hopefully full 2018 season.
However that’s not all. I’m taking the opportunity of not being able to race properly this year to do something a little bit different, and remind me how all this started. I got into this sport by first taking part in a number of mass participation running events in my day chair, and along with my good friend and colleague Travis Abbott I’ll be doing this once again at the beginning of September. On 3rd September we’ll be heading down to the Olympic Park to take part in Parallel London – the worlds first fully inclusive push/run. I’ll be taking part in my day chair and certainly not taking it too seriously but it will be great to do 10km in one go (at whatever speed – there may be some pushing, running, jogging, walking – who knows!) and know I can do the distance ahead of the Bury race. It should be a fun day and we plan to just stick at the same pace together and keep going for however long it takes to do it in my day chair!
One of the most frustrating things about this year has been not being able to do some of the things that I’d had planned to promote and fundraise for Right To Play. I was delighted earlier this year to be able extend my support for Right To Play until at least the end of 2018 and that continued support starts now! At both of these events I’ll be in my Right To Play/Viper 10 kit, and I hope the more relaxed atmosphere of Parallel London will give me a bit more opportunity to spread the word! Alongside that I’d love it if you could take the time to make a donation to Right To Play as sponsorship for these events and to motivate my training over the next few weeks.
Right To Play work with over a million children each week in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, using sport and play to develop new skills, educate and transform the lives of disadvantaged children. They believe that through the power of play children can receive a high quality education, overcome obstacles and see their lives turn around. They train local people to lead these programmes, creating a long-term and sustainable solution for communities facing poverty, disease and conflict.
It’s this ethos which has drawn me to support Right To Play, as it’s something I know to be true. I know that play and sport can transform lives, because I, in my own way, have seen that first hand. Since I became wheelchair bound sport has not only transformed my life but become my main focus, as I found that I could achieve and enjoy myself even with a disability. This same feeling is one that I hope children will benefit from as a result of my support of Right To Play – that through sport and play you can have fun, achieve and give life a purpose.
To sponsor me today and donate to Right To Play please head to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/chrisrighttoplay