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Wheelchair user completes marathon

Carl is no stranger to grueling physical challenges in his wheelchair. But this week end he and his wife completed the Manchester marathon in his wheelchair and propelled himself the whole of the 26 mile course taking the somewhat undulating route in his stride.

Carl, who was born with Spina Bifida, has never let his condition limit his activities and has always enjoyed a challenge in his wheelchair. The unstoppable part time football coach has previously raised thousands of pounds for his football club the Skem Men-Aces Football Club in Skelmersdale , which was specifically set up for adults with learning disabilities.

After the gruelling marathon even Carl said “I truly cannot believe that today and with my missus that I did the Greater Manchester Marathon 26.2 miles.

“I’ve never been so physically and mentally exhausted in my life and that was the most demanding thing on my body that I’ve ever done.”

No stranger to such challenges, Carl has previously won both the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Groups and a BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for his impressive efforts in his manual wheelchair.

He said: “Between nine and 13 miles I had decided to call it a day but with huge encouragement from a fabulous crowd, Mim and the Skem Men-Aces, I managed to snatch away at each mile.

“The hills were absolutely ridiculous at times and so soul destroying. “My wife Mim and I cried buckets as we crossed the finish line to rapturous applause, it was so emotional.

“The people of Manchester were brilliant. They really kept us going with Jelly Beans and encouragement.

“I’ll take my hat off to anyone that is thinking of doing a Marathon and shake their hands from now on.

“Unbelievably I am closer to my target of £10,000 and that has made it so worth it.

“I am in incredible pain but think a couple of pints in the Plough and Harrow pub in Skelmersdale will sort me out!

Carl was the only entrant to the marathon in  a wheelchair. His drive and energy towards everything is so impressive. He formed the football team in 2009 and it now has over 50 members with varying disabilities including several wheelchair users.

Although wheelchair half marathons are not so rare, entire marathons require an enormous amount of effort and commitment. Carl completed his marathon in a fairly standard self-propelled wheelchair as opposed to the specialist wheelchairs that you see in wheelchair racing at the Olympics for example. To see more about the world wheelchair marathon schedule click here.

Well done Carl for such a tremendous effort and completing a massive 26.3 miles in your wheelchair. Your pint is well deserved !