Members of the Avantidrome’s Community Trikes programme took on the Hamilton Half Marathon last Saturday, competing in a special segment of the event where they rode their trikes over distances of 10 or 21km. Encouraged by their coach Rene Eales, who had supported the riders previously in training runs and in-house sessions, the Cambridge trikers each pulled off their personal best and came in under their expected time.
It was the first time doing the competition for Joseph Leet, who gave it his all despite having Cerebral Palsy, and for Colin Atkin, 56, who started riding at the Avantidrome after a stroke. Both completed the 10km segment, as did Helen King, 80, without a second thought to her age or the hills involved. Joseph finished in a time of one hour and nine minutes, Colin came in at 55 minutes and 14 seconds, and Helen five seconds ahead of him at 55:09.
Aaron Ure, coordinator of the Avatidrome Community Trikes programme, competed in the full 21km half marathon for the second year, finishing in one hour and nearly 20 minutes. Fellow triker Heather Brand didn’t hesitate in her first attempt at the 21km course, proving Parkinson’s wouldn’t hold her back, finishing in one hour and 48 minutes.
“Our support riders were a key component of the team, giving us the encouragement and occasional boot required to step things up,” said Aaron, “so a big thanks to Steven Leet, Richard Brand, Michael Atkin, Esther Ure and Tobias Ure.”
“As coach and coordinator of the Avantidrome Community Trikes I could not be prouder of the way the team chose their goals and solidly worked towards them with the help of our coaches and their family members. The challenges and fears they had to overcome around health issues and riding on the road were all very real and they did not step back from them.
“As humans and as athletes, the more we trike, the more we become aware of our need to continue to move and grow which in turn awakens the awareness that life does not stop because the flow has been interrupted for some reason. We just need to adjust our course, work around the blockage and keep moving forward, one pedal at a time.
“You don’t have to be an athlete to return to the joy of riding that you knew in your youth, just come down and hop on a trike.”
To find out more about the Avantidrome Community Trikes programme and the rehabilitation benefits it can have, phone 07 823 1241 or email [email protected].