John's Marathon Effort
Army veteran John Willans from Perth, has completed 5 marathons in 5 days in aid of local children’s charity Cash for Kids. This feat is even more impressive as he was in a serious accident in 2017, leaving him struggling to walk unaided. He now competes in disability sports.
Completing his physical challenge in Perth College UHI’s Academy of Sport and Wellbeing (ASW), where he is a long-standing member, John raised over £700. Each day he chose a different piece of gym equipment to complete the distance, including the Cross Trainer, Recumbent Bike, Wheelchair, Static Bike and Hand Bike.
He said: “I undertook this challenge because I wanted to prove to myself that regardless of injury you can still achieve your goals and be able to take part in physical activity and sport! It was a way of inspiring others who may be struggling due to injury – and maybe even to give an adaptive sport a go. I wanted to do this for a charity that can help disadvantaged children to open presents on Christmas Day.
“I actually found it more challenging that I initially thought, especially the Wednesday when I completed 603 laps in my wheelchair to complete that day’s marathon. I walked away with sore and blistered hands, however the other four marathons in comparison were easier and more enjoyable. I managed to complete all five marathons in 12 hours and 5 minutes and I’m delighted to have raised a substantial amount of money for this incredible charity. Huge thanks to all who donated, I really appreciate it.”
Mandy McDonald, ASW Gym and Fitness Manager added: “It was a pleasure to support John with this fantastic achievement. Very well done from all the team at ASW and across Perth College UHI.”
Since John’s accident and having his 20 year-long military career as a Royal Engineer in the British Army career cut short, he is now heavily involved in disability sports. He represented Team GB in The Warrior Games with Help for Hero’s, where he won a gold medal for wheelchair tennis, as well as competing in sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball and swimming.
John also plays wheelchair rugby league and basketball for Dundee Dragons, as well as coaching disabled children in wheelchair sports with Perth Eagles. He has been made part of the wheelchair rugby Scotland squad and hopes be selected for the World Cup in November 2021.
Donate to John’s fundraiser.