“Despite the constant aches, pains and endless hills there was one thought that kept me going. That thought was a determination to prove that anyone and everyone can live a life without limits.
Richard Whitehead has completed a gruelling 40 marathons in 40 days for charity, reaching Land’s End on the south-west coast of Great Britain this afternoon (23 September).
Whitehead crossed the line in front of well-wishers and family, including Fiancee Valerie and daughter Zarah, less than two months after becoming the 200m T42 world champion at the 2013 IPC Athletics Championships in Lyon, France.
“Despite the constant aches, pains and endless hills there was one thought that kept me going. That thought was a determination to prove that anyone and everyone can live a life without limits. Once you have accepted this, you can push the barriers as far as they can go. I hope I have been able to leave that message with the people across Britain,” Whitehead said.
Whitehead started the final 26.2 miles of his journey at Helston, Cornwall, just one day behind schedule. He had picked up blisters from one of his prosthetics earlier on in the 977 mile route, forcing him to take an unplanned rest day on the advice of doctors.
Last week he was joined by presenters from British broadcaster Channel 4’s The Last Leg. The show, which was first aired during London 2012, was intended to break down barriers and misconceptions about disability through comedy during the Paralympic Games. Due to popular public demand the show returned for a successful second series in 2013.
Presenters Adam Hills, Josh Widdecombe and journalist Alex Brooker acted out scenes from Whitehead’s favourite film Chariots of Fire, which he had been watching on a television mounted onto the back of a car at points on the route.
He has also been supported by members of the public who were able to join him for 5km, 10km or whole marathons along the way, as well as celebrities and fellow athletes including British Paralympians Dan Greaves and Dame Sarah Storey and British Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington.
He has received good luck messages from singer Pixie Lott and footballer Stan Collymore and even an official letter from Number 10 Downing Street carrying a message from British Prime Minister David Cameron along the way.
Whitehead began his epic challenge on 13 August to raise money for British charities Sarcoma UK and Scope.