5:26pm Tuesday 21st December 2010
By Gus Mckechnie
So two weeks after I completed the Chicago marathon I took part in the Great South Run as part of the Ellen Macarthur Trust Team.
It was a fantastic day and event. So many different people preparing themselves for different reasons to run the 10 miles through Portsmouth.
Mine was still my charity mission but too help raise the profile of the Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust. A charity which helps inspire young people to recovery from cancer through sailing. At the back of my mind was a very a busy diary. Two weeks after the Great South Run I was aiming at running the New York Marathon for the 5th time. The Wednesday after New York I was travelling up to a Paralympic Identification day in Sheffield. So the emphasis was to finish and that I did after two hours.
Then it was onto New York for the fifth time. I had to alter my flight so ended up going out early with my fiancé Emma. I first lined up to do the international friendship run on the Saturday before hand. People from so many countries gathering in great spirits. The guys getting the attention were the Japanese. Their costumes were crazy and very hard describe but brilliant. The next day it was an early start getting to the start line. All I had to bear in mind was not to blow it. Pound out a steady beat and I will finish. I went off at a good pace that ensured that I wouldn’t finish too late and then slowed down. The sights as always along route were amazing including the inspiring competitors. Finishing for the fifth time seemed like an impossible dream. According to the “experts” I wasn’t meant to be walking properly by the time I was 30 let alone on my 10th marathon by the time I was 35. Awesome and it was wonderful to have Emma there to witness it. We flew back home the next day and landed Tuesday morning. I drove up to Sheffield on Tuesday evening. I wasn’t about to complain because I knew about some of the other participants in the paralympic identity day. There were almost twenty soldiers who had been injured. First of all it was a case of trying sledge hockey, which to my surprise I’m eligible for. I’m right side dominant so it was a case at first I was going round in circles at first but soon got a hold on it. Next was sitting volleyball I had just agreed to try. I’m glad I did it because it allowed me to have one of those moments that makes you think. There was one skills session where we asked to keep the ball up I got to 14. An injured soldier with both his legs gone and a carbon replacement on one arm managed to keep the ball up for 23.
There where some sports of course that couldn’t allow you to have ago because of their nature like sailing. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Grier from the RYA keen to get me involved he arranged for a classification. Also there is the chance to try skiing but that is all the way in Milton Keynes. Sailing is based around Southampton, Cowes and the Isle of Wight. The final part of the day was spent throwing at Don Valley Stadium. I have now starting to throw the discus.
I didn’t quite finish there, the next thing I took part in was an indoor rowing race in Birmingham. The long and short of this journey was that I ended up as British Mens LTA champion.
On Sunday, I attended the Sports Personality of the year. It was a great night and very inspiring. Boy that Katherine Jenkins can warble!
So here is the turn around three years ago I was shattered after witnessing mum’s heart attack with my future career effectively ruined. Now I’m engaged with some very long outside shots at the Paralympics. 2011 I also have a large amount of miles to cover on my stationary bike. BRING IT ON
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