Battling Paul’s latest event is a backwards marathon
WHEELCHAIR-bound Paul Wilkinson has completed a marathon - backwards.
The 67-year-old who suffers from motor-neurone disease, does not do things by half and, after climbing five of Swindon’s 10 hills in his wheelchair last year, including Victoria Road backwards, he has completed another mammoth challenge.
At the weekend he was joined by fundraisers at the running track next to the County Ground and they were sponsored for the number of backwards laps they completed.
Paul called the event The Hummingbird marathon, after the only bird that can fly backwards, and raised money for various charities depending on the participants’ choice but it is not sure how much has been raised yet.
Paul, who completed the the marathon himself in 12 hours, said: “I want to say big thank you to everyone who turned out on Sunday to support my event and to the many who sponsored all of us, helping to raise money for various charities and good causes.
“I view my success not in me completing a 26-mile non-stop backward marathon, but in others giving their time and love with the one intention to help others.
“I was always confident of being successful in completing the marathon because I have learned from fighting my terminal illness for more than ten years and these last seven years of fundraising.
“By participating in ever more difficult challenges I want to prove that there is no limit to what the human spirit can endure and achieve.”
On Monday, July 1 Paul visited his motor neurone specialist in Oxford. In 2007 he gave Paul two to four years to live.
Paul usually has appointments every two months but has now been told he only needs to visit every six months as a result of his active lifestyle and attitude towards his illness.
Paul is already thinking about his next challenge and he intends to go unaided on a cruise around the world in his manual wheelchair.
He then plans to complete a hill-climb in every port the ship visits to raise more money for charity.
Paul said: “The difficulty and unknown conditions will all be completely new to me.
“I am looking forward to this adventurous challenge and think the fact that I am going on the cruise alone is a challenge and I cannot wait.”
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