Wheelchair athletes Jade Jones and Callum Hall usually love each other’s company but on Sunday 8th October they’ll be trying hard to put plenty of distance between themselves.
GB Paralympian Jade, 21, and her fiancé Callum, 25, will be among a group of wheelchair racers doing battle in the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon in York.
The couple are making a welcome return after competing in last year’s event, which Callum won in a time of 2:01:35. Jade was the fastest woman wheelchair athlete in a time of 2:03:51.
They are both hoping for more success this year.
Leeds-born Callum, winner of this year’s Leeds Half Marathon, was left paralysed in 2012 after stepping on a sea urchin while diving off the Greek island of Skiathos. He developed a spinal abscess which burst.
Callum, who attended St. Mary’s School, Menston, took up wheelchair racing in 2014.
He said: “Jade and I enjoy taking part in races together. Obviously as athletes we are both competitive and want to do our best but any rivalry between us is friendly. We like to see each other do well.
“We really enjoyed last year’s Yorkshire Marathon and are looking forward to this year’s race.”
Middlesbrough-born Jade, holder of Commonwealth and European medals, joked: “It really doesn’t matter which one of us crosses the line first – as long as it’s me!”
She added: “Callum’s right, it’s good fun taking part in events together and we are very much looking forward to being in York on October 8th. There was a great atmosphere at last year’s marathon and the support from the crowds was excellent.”
As well as racing each other, Callum and Jade are also both supporting a cause close to their hearts – ‘Race for Ruby’ – in memory of Callum’s niece who tragically died aged just 9 days old at Leeds General Infirmary in July 2016.
The couple – along with a huge team of family and friends are raising money for the LGI’s neonatal intensive care unit CU whose staff gave Ruby a fighting chance at life, and her parents the chance to spend a precious nine days with her. More information about Race for Ruby can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dylan-h111
The Yorkshire Marathon was launched in 2013 and forms part of the legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson, who raised nearly £2m for charity while battling incurable cancer.
The marathon festival now includes the Yorkshire 10 Mile, which starts immediately after the marathon, and the Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay, a team event which splits the 26.2 miles into six legs.
It is sponsored by Plusnet, Asda Foundation, York City Council, University of York, Up & Running, Afterskokz, High 5, Viisana, Visit York, Erdinger Alkoholfrei, Yorkshire Post and BBC Radio York.