Athlete wheels to success

A TEENAGE athlete with dreams of taking part in the 2008 Paralympics has wheeled himself a little closer to his ambition with success in a world-renowned race.

A TEENAGE athlete with dreams of taking part in the 2008 Paralympics has wheeled himself a little closer to his ambition with success in a world-renowned race.

Popular Suffolk 17-year-old Brian Alldis(crt), of Mayfield Road, Bury St Edmunds, who has built up a reputation as a fine wheelchair sportsman, took part in the prestigious Great North Run at the weekend.

Brian, who suffers from spina bifida, beat off stiff competition to take ninth place in the mixed sex 13-mile wheelchair section of the famous race in Newcastle. In the men's section Brian came sixth and was particularly delighted to be captured on BBC television crossing the finish line.

The athlete not only exceeded his expectations in the race by taking only 56 minutes 4 seconds, he overtook world famous wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson at one point in the race – his first adult half-marathon.


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Brian said: "I was so surprised to finish in such a good time. Before the race I thought a time of 62 minutes would be good.

"This race is what I have been aiming for all year. When I reached nine miles my body started to feel the pain. I could scarcely manage to race up the last hill, but I did somehow gather enough strength for a sprint finish."

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Brian now hopes to take part in the disabled championships in October at Stoke Mandeville. But his long-term ambition is far more serious: "I want to go to the Parolympics in Beijing in 2008."

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