Gus marks first ever wheelchair entry in ABP Southampton Half Marathon2nd March 2017
He’s well-known for pushing his body to the limits in the name of charity. And now Gus McKechnie is setting himself his biggest challenge yet as he prepares to take on the ABP Southampton Half Marathon.
The 41-year-old, from St Mary’s in Southampton, will tackle the 13.1 mile course in a racing wheelchair to raise awareness of disability in the city. It will mark the first time anyone has ever taken part in the event in a wheelchair and Gus hopes his participation will inspire others to take up wheelchair sports.
Gus, who famously cycled 50,000 miles on an exercise bike on board a Red Funnel ferry, said: “I’ve experienced first-hand what a difference wheelchair sports can make to your life. I’m hoping that taking part in this year’s event will encourage other people to think about taking it up.
“It’s not going to be easy; the course is notoriously hilly which will make it tough on my arms. That said, the sights of Southampton will keep me going, as will the knowledge that I’m raising money for an important charity.”
Gus, who works at Ordnance Survey, is appealing to fellow wheelchair users to follow suit and join him for this year’s ABP Southampton Half Marathon. He said: “It would be amazing to see lots of people out there taking part in wheelchairs, showing that disability is no barrier to achieving amazing things.”
Race organiser Chris Rees added: “We’re so excited that Gus is taking part and we’re echoing his calls for wheelchair users to get their entries in. The half marathon route is obviously a mammoth challenge but we do have 10k and one mile options available too.”
The ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k takes place on April 23. It’s the third time the event has taken place in the city but 2017 marks the first time a full marathon distance has been available to run.
Once again the half marathon route takes in some of the city’s landmarks including the Itchen Bridge which offers runners a great challenge and stunning views over the city.
The full marathon is two laps of the half marathon route - keeping the event within the confines of the city centre and meaning supporters don’t have to travel as far to cheer on their friends and family running.
Entries for the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k are open until March 13.
To enter visit www.abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk
Gus is taking part in the ABP Southampton Half Marathon in aid of Weldmar Hospice in Dorset. To sponsor him visit www.justgiving.com/gusrolls
Gus prepares to take on the ABP Southampton Half Marathon on April 23