Great time in the sun as Edward gets a personal best

The racers run in the hot sunshine at Blenheim Palace

Johnathan Watson with Edward McDonagh

First published in News

RACING through the hilly grounds of Blenheim Palace in the summer sunshine was no picnic.

But one competitor was all smiles at the end of the four-mile route after he smashed his personal best by 18 minutes.

Wheelchair user Edward McDonagh asked for the race to be opened up to disabled athletes so he could also join in. The 24-year-old, the first racer to take part in a wheelchair, crossed the finish line yesterday in 40 minutes and 52 seconds.

Mr McDonagh, of Bicester, said: “It was so much fun. I would love to do more of them. It was quite tough, mentally, but physically, it was a walk in the park. I would like to do a half marathon.”

Accompanied by trainer Johnathan Watson, Mr McDonagh was one of 800 competitors to break into a sweat around the Woodstock palace.

And his proud mum Anna McDonagh and dad Kerry McDonagh, both 56, were thrilled to see him cross the finish line. Mrs McDonagh said: “Edward did the most amazing time. Before, his best-ever was 58 minutes. Jonathan drove him to push harder than he had ever done before and the crowds were really supportive.

“They need another challenge now.”

Mr McDonagh, who suffered a brain injury in a car crash at the age of eight, propels his wheelchair forwards turning the right wheel with his right arm and pulling on the ground with his right foot.

Organisers of the annual 7km event devised a new four-mile route suitable for wheelchairs and buggies after Mr McDonagh lobbied them.

Nearly 1,000 people turned out on Sunday to cheer the racers on. Mrs McDonagh added: “It was a fantastic effort. When Edward finished, his whole body was trembling with exhaustion.”

Mr McDonagh has now raised £3,460 for the Children’s Brain Injury Trust, based in Bicester, which helped him.

In the 7km race, Alex Jones came first in 24 minutes and 10 seconds.

The fastest woman was Jessica Webb, who finished in 28 minutes and seven seconds.

Father and son Neil and Ethan Carter completed the four-mile buggy race in 24 minutes, 19 seconds.

Our top stories:

GBH at Bicester shopping village

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A man has had his sentencing adjourned yesterday for causing grievous bodily harm in a shopping centre.

One killed, two hurt in three-car smash near Brize Norton

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A PERSON was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Witney Road near Brize Norton yesterday.

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

Farewell to Abingdon boy Skye Hall, who lived his short life to full

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

IN the final hours of his life, brave youngster Skye Hall showed incredible strength and told people to remember to make the most of what they have.

Silent disco planned in memory of Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Details have been announced for a silent disco to raise money for a memorial commemorating crash victim Liberty Baker.

Illegal drivers caught in police operation on Abingdon Road

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Six drivers using mobile phones and 12 not wearing a seatbelt were stopped by police yesterday.

Proposals for Chpping Norton homes revealed as part of West Oxfordshire Local Plan

Oxford Mail: west oxfordshire district council

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

RESIDENTS in Chipping Norton were given a glimpse into what their town could look like in the future.

Water firm calls on YOU to join the war on ‘fatbergs’

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

OXFORD’S water provider called on customers not to pour fat down the sink as part of its “war on fatbergs.”

All systems go for Frideswide Square revamp

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

INITIAL work began yesterday on the redevelopment of Frideswide Square.

RAF job no child’s play for this reservist mum

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

FOR Cheryl Huntbach, the news isn’t just a source of information – it could show her where her next job will be.

Buses get some F1 technology

Oxford Mail: Williams F1 Image by Craig Styles(C)

7:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A FORMULA One team from Oxfordshire has been the inspiration behind a new fleet of low emission buses.

Gifts galore as Facebook appeal couple tie the knot

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A COUPLE who turned to Facebook for help to get married tied the knot at the weekend after being inundated with offers of support.

Golf club puts a defibrillator device in gym

Oxford Mail: Responder department manager Dick Tracey before his charity head, beard and moustache shave. Pictures: OX63860 Denis Kennedy

6:40am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A GOLF club near Faringdon has installed life-saving equipment after a man died there earlier this year.

Councillor's resignation prompts call for council discussion

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

COUNTY council leader Ian Hudspeth has called for a “serious discussion” about the role of councillors.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree