Grasmere man paralysed in cycling accident to complete triathlon for GNAAS

A Grasmere man will complete a triathlon spanning the country, three years after being left paralysed from the neck down in a cycling accident.

Will Clark suffered a life-threatening C4 spinal injury when he fell from his cycle while taking part in a triathlon at Thirlmere in July 2012.

The 30-year-old will return to the scene of the accident next month to start the first leg of a new triathlon, which will take in a 100 mile cycle, the Great North Run, and a kilometre swim.

The first stage, the cycle, will end in Newcastle, where Will was flown to intensive care by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

He will then be joined by 12 friends and family members, who will join him in the Great North Run. The plan is then to head to the Calvert Trust in Keswick to complete a one kilometre swim.

Will hopes the event will raise £10,000 for GNAAS, which treated and airlifted Will on the day of his accident, which happened when a stick got caught in the wheel of his bike.

This week, Will travelled to the charity’s base at Langwathby, near Penrith, to meet aircrew paramedic Terry Sharpe, who flew to Will’s side in the aftermath of the incident.

Speaking of GNAAS, Will said: “It’s only when you really need them that you suddenly realise what a fantastic job they do.”

Mr Sharpe said: “After everything he has been through, the courage of this young man to get back on his bike is absolutely humbling.”

The 100 mile cycle will be completed on a battery-powered Boma bike, which is controlled by Will’s chin.

Chris Swift, of Molten Rock, which provided Will’s bike, said: “While we are excited to see our Boma chair take on yet another challenge, it is the man in the driving seat and his strength of spirit that will see the challenge through. We wish Will and his team the very best of luck.”

Will is now putting the finishing touches to his training and making the necessary arrangements for the gruelling journey, with the cycle element alone expected to take up to five days.

He said: “It’s going to be a real challenge, but we are really looking forward to it now.

“Where we are starting is where I left the last triathlon. We will then complete each leg of the journey as I should have done on the day of my accident. I think it will bring some closure.”

Will wished to thank the Hobson Charity, who paid for his Boma bike, and the Calvert Trust, which provides outdoor education for people with disabilities. “They’ve made me realise anything is possible,” he said.

Sponsor Will click here.


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