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Wheelchair racers make history at Maidenhead Half Marathon

Wheelchair racers make history at Maidenhead Half Marathon

David Lee

Wheelchair racers make history at Maidenhead Half Marathon

A pair of Royal Borough wheelchair racers made history as they became the first para-athletes to take part in the Maidenhead Half Marathon on Sunday.


 

Nerys Pearce, from Ascot, and Emma Young, from Dedworth, both raced around the 13.1 mile course in their three-wheeled racing chairs.

Former army medic Nerys, who lives in Ranelagh Crescent, was left paralysed from the chest down after an off-duty accident back in 2008.

Emma, 22, who lives in Mansell Close, had to undergo a hip replacement at the age of 16 after she was born without a hip joint.

The pair both raced for disability sports club SportsAble, based in Braywick, where Emma has been a volunteer for seven years.

Emma and Nerys only found out about the event two days before it was due to start and SportsAble provided their volunteer with a racing chair to help her make half marathon history.

They set off 15 minutes before the runners and crossed the line together in a time of one hour 56 minutes and 52 seconds.

Emma said: “The marshals were fantastic, especially at the water stations where they handed us our water and adapted for us.

“Everyone’s been really brilliant. It’s nice when people are so accommodating.”

Nerys also paid tribute to the atmosphere at the event and the support given by Maidenhead residents.

“It’s great to see everyone outside their houses cheering everyone on. It gives you back that sense of community that’s kind of been lost a bit,” she added.

Nerys is set to take part in the gruelling Enduroman Arch-2-Arc in aid of injured soldiers later this month.

The challenge will see her race 87 miles to Dover before swimming the English Channel.

She will then finish by racing 181 miles from Calais to Paris’ Arc de Triomphe.

Click here to see our picture special of the half marathon.

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