Albion in the Community’s chief operating officer Gary Townsend will be undertaking the gruelling challenge of the Brighton Marathon this year, with a difference.
Townsend will be completing the 26.2 mile course around Brighton this Sunday 12th April, while pushing AITC ambassador Jadey Yesilada in his wheelchair to raise funds for Jadey’s Dream.
Speaking after one of his intense training sessions at the Training Pod at Brighton Racecourse, Gary told seagulls.co.uk, “It will be tough physically, but mentally I am prepared for it because I know why I am doing it; I am doing it for Jadey. He is a fantastic guy and an inspiration.
“He never lets his disability stop him from doing anything he wants and although I will be pushing him around the marathon, he will be in front of me and that is my motivation.
“My coach at the Training Pod, Darren Teague, has been fantastic. I have been coming up here two or three times a week in the mornings before work and he has been really good and helped me development my strength and fitness.
“I feel ten times better than when I first got here. I feel a lot fitter and stronger and I will be ready for the marathon.”
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Darren, who has been putting Gary through his paces over the past few months, has been impressed with Gary’s progress and is looking forward to supporting him and Jadey during the marathon.
“Sam, who is one of our trainers here, and I, will be running alongside Gary and Jadey. Our role is to support Jadey on the course and running with Gary as his wingmen. Jadey has come on so much as well and is always a privilege to work with.
“It will be difficult in terms of Gary’s position during the marathon as he won’t be able to use his arms to run, so we have been putting strategies in place where he will be changing that position every few miles. Same as with Jadey, at the rest points we will gauge where he is and assess it.
“Gary and I have been on runs together but we train the whole body. We train him at the Training Pod as well as giving him a running programme. He has done brilliantly, got a lot stronger and his running has really improved.”
Jadey, who has cerebral palsy, launched the Jadey’s Dream fundraising initiative to help AITC expand its disability sports programme and give more disabled people the chance to take part in sport.
Fans can sponsor Gary and Jadey’s marathon bid at: https://www.justgiving.com/MarathonBrighton.