Olympians to race for Spinal Trust

00:34, Nov 21 2012
Marc Ryan wheel chair
Timaru's Marc Ryan is switching to wheel chair racing to benefit the New Zealand Spinal Trust.

Olympic team pursuit bronze medallists Marc Ryan and Westley Gough will be racing on a different set of wheels at the Festival of Cycling in Christchurch.

The pair are swapping their state-of-the-art bikes for wheelchairs to race the Free Wheelin' Frenzy 150 in support of the New Zealand Spinal Trust.

The wheel chair race will see 10 Canterbury celebrities line up to compete over a 150-metre course to raise awareness for the trust, which provides information, education, research, advocacy and support for people who have a spinal cord impairment.

''I'm really looking forward to being a part of the wheelchair race because it's great to be able to help the Spinal Trust and challenge myself on a different set of wheels,'' said Gough.

Despite extensive success on two wheels, neither Gough nor Ryan has ever used a wheelchair, so their Olympic experience will count for very little.

''I have never used a wheelchair myself so I'm coming in as a complete novice,'' said Gough.

The Free Wheelin' Frenzy 150 is being held on the criterium circuit at the University of Canterbury on the second day of the festival, Sunday, December 2.

The Festival of Cycling kicks off on Saturday, December 1 in Waipara, where entrants will ride a 90km figure-eight course.


The Timaru Herald