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Get Kids Going! Has Fantastic London Marathon

Get Kids Going!’s, Vice President, David Weir, narrowly missed out on his quest to be the greatest all time Virgin Money London Marathon winner.

David was going for his seventh win which would take him past fellow Get Kids Going!, Vice President, TanniGrey-Thompson’s record of six London Marathon wins! David was, sadly, pipped at the post, by American, Joshua George who beat him to the line by only one second!

The men’s wheelchair marathon had lots of dramatic twists and turns with David being at the centre of them all. His greatest rival, Marcel Hugg, who had won the Boston Marathon earlier in the week, pulled out with a puncture so all eyes were then on David to beat Tanni’s amazing record. But sadly, shortly after mile 14, David’s gloves dramatically disintegrated meaning he had no option but to push with his bare hands all the way to the finish line! As he pulled into The Mall, the crowd were on their feet willing him on. As usual, David went for his dramatic sprint finish but narrowly missed the world record seventh win by an amazing one second. How close but how far could you be!

Shelly and David before the big day

After the race, David told reporters, “My thumb came through the glove so I was being forced to push very awkwardly for the last 10 miles and it took a lot out of me as I had to change my technique.”David has been supported by Get Kids Going! since he was a young boy and after his magnificent wins of four gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games kindly agreed to be a Vice President of the charity and gives us all support possible to encourage disabled youngsters to participate in wheelchair sport.

David wasn’t the only Get Kids Going! wheelchair athlete competing in the main wheelchair race. On the back of his fantastic win at the Padova Marathon, in Italy at the beginning of April, Justin Levene made a last minute decision to take part in the race. Justin only began training again recently after an injury kept him from having enough strength to compete at such a distance. We are proud to say that Justin finished 23rd with a time of 1:46:20 which was extremely close to his personal best.

He told Get Kids Going!, “My training has been going well but I am competing after getting an injury so I just went hoping to do my best for everyone and especially the charity who has been such a wonderful support and encouragement to me. I can not say thank you enough to all the wonderful people at Get Kids Going! for their belief in me and all I want to achieve in wheelchair racing. My dream is to get to the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016. I will be doing my best to get there”.

Shelly and David before the big day

In the women’s race, Get Kids Going!, ambassador, Shelly Woods sadly didn’t finish due to a puncture at mile 23. Shelly was disappointed not to complete the full 26.2 miles but after the race she said, “What an amazing atmosphere at the London Marathon today. I just could not do this without all the wonderful help the charity gives to me!... Don’t worry I will be back next year!”

As well as our athletes in the full marathon we had a number of talented youngsters competing in the Virgin Money Mini Wheelchair Marathon. Graham Spencer has been the runner-up in the boy’s under 14’s category for the last two years and after a fantastic race he managed to go one better and win his event. Well done to Graham.. what a fantastic achievement. We are so proud.

In the boys under 17 race, the Get Kids Going! wheelchair team enjoyed a brilliant morning of racing. Issac Towers and Dillon Labrooy came 2nd and 3rd respectively. Issac said, “I was frustrated to come second but pleased to be coming home with a medal and a new personal best time. Both Issac and Dillon said ”we couldn’t achieve all this without the wonderful help of everyone at Get Kids Going! Thank you so much”.

Shelly and David before the big day

In the girls under 14 race, Paralympic hopeful, Eden Rainbow-Cooper, enjoyed another successful Mini Marathon. We aredelighted to see Eden finishing second as she shaved nearly three minutes off her time from last year. Eden is certainly one to watch for the future.

The charity also had a fantastic team of runners taking part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon with over 300 runnersenjoying the exciting atmosphere of race day! We would like to say a big thank you to them all for all their hard work in training and raising money for all the disabled youngsters who need their help. They all enjoyed the day and the wonderful support they received from the charity’s team of volunteers cheering them every step of the way to the finish line.

We are very proud of everyone who competed in Sunday’s race and would like to thank all our wonderful runners, supporters and volunteers for their magnificent effort, support and kindness. They certainly were the No.1 Team!

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