TWO Woking athletes have won places in a national event that is part of the Superhero Series for people with disabilities and long-term injuries.
Alex Wade and Suzie Forbes are among 50 Everyday Superheroes chosen from 200 applicants who had to pick a “superpower” and say why they should be picked. They will take part in the Celebrity Superhero Tri at Dorney Lake in Windsor this Saturday, 18 August, in which disabled athletes are teamed up with Paralympic champions with a push/run, swim and cycle.
Alex, 22, from Goldsworth Park, chose his smile and strength as his superpower and will do the 1km push/run. His team captain is the Paralympic gold and bronze medallist Susie Rodgers, MBE, who will do the 150m swim while Archie van der Meulen from Guildford will be doing the 3km cycle.
On another team Suzie, 24, will do the 150km swim, Alpine ski Paralympic champions Menna Fitzpatrick and Jen Kehoe are the captains and will do the 3km cycle and Elan Williams will do the 1km push/run.
Suzie chose ‘‘detemination’’ as her superpower. She is a keen swimmer but this will be the first time she has tried an outdoor swim.
As well as his main event, Alex will take part in a shorter “sprint” in which he will swim by being towed behind a dinghy with two helpers at his side, and the cycle section, with his wheelchair towed by mum Faye Proctor on a bike.
“He’s really looking forward to it and doesn’t seem to be worried about what it will take,” Faye said. “It’s more me who is worrying about it all!”
Alex has suffered severe seizures and autism all his life. He was treated at the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy near Lingfield, east Surrey, but is now home full time and his seizures have been reduced to one or two a week.
Superhero Series founder and Paralympian Sophia Warner said: “This year’s event plans to be bigger and better with more Celebrities Team captains from sport, entertainment and the military competing alongside Everyday Superheroes.
“I’m really pleased to be able to give 50 Everyday Superheroes the chance of competing alongside their idols – who have been inspired by their team mates training already.”
The other captains include Frank Gardner, the BBC security correspondent, David Weir, the six-times Paralympic champion and seven-times London Marathon champion, Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, the Channel 4 News sports reporter, and Billy Monger, the teenager who lost both his legs below the knee in a high-speed Formula 3 crash last April.
The Superhero Tri is part of a huge number of events in which more than 2,000 people will take part, including mass-participation triathlons and triathlon relays over three distances in which friends and family without disabilities can participate.