Wheelchair triathlon challenge for Gus

INTREPID: Gus McKechnie is taking on the cycle section of Challenge Weymouth in a racing wheelchair

INTREPID: Gus McKechnie is taking on the cycle section of Challenge Weymouth in a racing wheelchair

First published in News

Finishing this year’s Challenge Weymouth triathlon will be just one of many achievements for Gus McKechnie, who plans to complete the entire marathon section of the triathlon in a racing wheelchair.

The 38-year-old was born with cerebral palsy, which affects his left side, making his muscles harder to coordinate and preventing him from running long distances.

He now plans to use a racing wheelchair to complete the running element of the Challenge Weymouth event on September 14.

Gus’ condition hasn’t stopped him completing several amazing challenges before this year’s triathlon.

Part of his extensive training for the triathlon includes regular 150-mile static bike rides as part of a 50,000 mile cycling challenge on Red Funnel ferries.

The office administrator has also broken two world records with record long-distance times for 24 hour and 100km adaptive indoor rowing, and carried the Olympic torch through Southampton in 2012.

Gus explained the difficulty of the challenge makes completing the event a feat in itself.

“The strongest section for me will be the cycling, because I’ve already done a lot of training. It will probably be a bit harder in the racing wheelchair because I have less flexibility and endurance in the muscles on my left side, but I’m putting in a lot of work because I want a really good time,” he said.

Although he lives in Southampton, Gus grew up in Dorchester and often visited Weymouth as a child, so this year’s Challenge is very significant for him.

He said: “It’s going to be a massive achievement for me. To be able to race through Weymouth past all of the places that are important to me, and raise awareness of disability sport, is fantastic.”

Over 1,100 people have signed up to this year’s Challenge Weymouth triathlon event so far, which will be held on September 14. The event involves a 3.8km swim in Weymouth Bay, a 180km bike ride and a 42km run along the seafront and through the town centre.

n To sign up for the triathlon or take part by supporting entrants along the route this year, please contact Just Racing UK on 01933 353216 or visit challengetri.com

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