Could you run a marathon? What about two in two days? Richard Whitehead has completed the 40 marathons in 40 days challenge. What’s even more amazing is that he is a Paralympian.
As a double amputee who has to swing his hips out to run this is not just a great achievement for a disabled runner, this is a massive achievement for an athlete of any kind yet the coverage of his success has been very muted. With all the respect in the world to Eddie Izzard who did an amazing job for Sport Relief two years ago running 43 marathons in 51 days, this is a superhuman effort and one that deserves not only recognition for the physical and mental achievement but for his aim to celebrate his condition and share his experiences with others.
We often forget that many of these athletes are not the multi-millionaires that their peers and fellow sportsmen and women are. They survive on a small amount of funding from the government, UK Sport and other organisations. Richard gave up his time to spread a message of hope, love and positivity around the UK from John O’Groats to Land’s End in support of Scope and Sarcoma UK two charities that Richard is passionate about. Scope works with disabled people and their families in providing support and care and also educates about those with disabilities. The want to change perceptions and show that there are positives to be taken from disabilities and show the world the abilities of those same people. Sarcoma UK is a charity for the rarer and lesser known Cancers such as blood, tissue, muscle, bone, tendons and nerves. One in eight of those fighting Cancer as a child will be up against Sarcoma so it’s a hugely important organisation. There are 12,000 people in the UK with one of these strains of Cancer yet it doesn’t appear at the front of the publicity queue too often.
I know that money is tight for everyone at the moment, but if everyone who is a friend on Facebook or Twitter or who subscribes to this Blog gave a fiver we could raise a huge amount. Richard deserves our respect and recognition for an achievement even the fittest of us “able-bodied” could only dream of (or have nightmares about!). If you can spare a fiver, or more please click on to http://www.richardwhiteheadrunsbritain.com/ and give what you can.
Richard was one of the Superhumans we all watched and admired last year at the Paralympics so let’s say thank you for the inspiration and joy he gave us last year by supporting him in this cause. Thanks.