He’s just broken a World Record for the fastest marathon in a non-racing wheelchair, and now our racing champ Josh Landmann is calling on other wheelchair users to take part in the Beaverbrooks Blackpool 10k Fun Run.
Josh, 25, set a new record for completing last weekend’s London Marathon in three hours and 18 minutes, 59 seconds, in his everyday wheelchair, and hopes it will be an inspiration to others that great things can be achieved without expensive racing equipment.
And he’s hoping wheelchair users will join him in this next week’s Blackpool 10k, which takes place along Blackpool’s promenade on Sunday 12th May.
Josh, who was the only participant in the event’s wheelchair race last year, said: “The Blackpool 10k is a really good event to be involved in. Not only is it all for a great cause, but it’s one of the easiest 10ks because the route is so flat and the atmosphere is absolutely amazing.
“You’ve got people of all ages taking part because it’s so accessible, and it always attracts a really good crowd who cheer you on all the way along the route. People are just there waiting up and down the prom and giving that extra support which is massive help; it really keeps you going.
“Some races that I do are in a more closed setting with limited access so there isn’t anyone just watching the race. You feel like you’re on your own on the track, and their absence is really noticeable. In a town or a city like Blackpool you race past people as they’re going about their daily lives, and they will stop to cheer you on for a few minutes. I really does make all the difference to your race.”
All proceeds from the race go directly to patient care here at Trinity Hospice for everyone across the Fylde coast who needs it. We are encouraging everyone who’s taking part to get sponsorship and raise as much as possible – every penny will make a massive difference to our patients and their families.
Josh added: “I think it’s really important to get everyone involved in events like this, whatever their ability.
“The year before last I took part with some of my friends in my everyday wheelchair – you don’t necessarily have to do it in a racing chair. I’ve even seen people taking part while pushing people in wheelchairs, and children in prams. You can just take part in this 10k to challenge yourself in whichever way you want and are able to. This may be something you don’t usually do, but just give it a go. The whole event is just supportive all the way through.
“I am trying to encourage people into the sport of wheelchair racing. Certainly from my experience I would always encourage people to take up every opportunity they are given. You don’t know who you will meet or if they will like it until you try it.”
Three years after Josh’s accident which left him paralysed from the chest down, he took part in his first sporting event – a triathlon – to raise money for the Spinal Injury Association.
“I absolutely loved the challenge,” he said.
“I didn’t have any specialist equipment, just me and my everyday chair. Afterwards, I got in touch with British Triathlon and they offered me a place to try out in their Tokyo Talent ID weekend. I just thought ‘why not give it a go’.”
Now, Josh is heading towards the Paralympics in Tokyo next year.
He said: “My attitude of ‘let’s just give it a go’ has got me here, and if I don’t get in, I’ve not lost anything.
“If people want to get involved in any type of wheelchair racing the best thing is to just give it a go, and the Blackpool 10k is the perfect opportunity to see if it’s for you.”
There’s still time to enter the Beaverbrooks Blackpool 10k Fun Run – just click here. Online entries close at 10am on Tuesday.