Great time in the sun as Edward gets a personal best

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:

UPDATE: Oxford City properties hit by power cut 'back on by 11.30pm' say SSE

Oxford Mail: light bulb with power lines

8:44pm Monday 27th April 2015

PROPERTIES affected by power cuts in Oxfordshire today are being brought back online in phases.

Murder accused is kept in custody after stabbing victim found in car

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

A 34-YEAR-OLD will appear in court tomorrow accused of murdering the man found fatally wounded in a car in Barton.

Charity dance competition is strictly sensational

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

ALL the glitz and glamour of the ballroom was brought to Oxford’s New Theatre on Saturday as couples danced off in the Strictly Oxford competition.

Mum fights to have vital drug made available through NHS

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

A MUM whose husband and young son are fighting the same rare life-threatening disease is campaigning to gain access to vital medication on the NHS.

Footballers’ tribute to tragic Kyle

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 27th April 2015

FRIENDS and family of tragic Kyle Byfield came together for a memorial football tournament in Banbury on Sunday.

Pensioner will fly village’s flag again 70 years on from VE Day

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

YOUNG Roy Hanson was given the task of flying the Union Jack on his village church tower on VE Day in 1945.

Volunteer group shuts due to lack of recruits

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Monday 27th April 2015

A COMMUNITY group which helped improve green spaces in the Blackbird Leys estate is closing after 18 months.

County's population explosion timebomb

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 27th April 2015

THE population of Oxfordshire could almost double over the next 40 years.

Head delighted that trust will manage new Barton Park primary school

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Monday 27th April 2015

A HEADTEACHER has spoken of her delight that the Cheney School Academy Trust will manage the new Barton Park Primary School.

Pupils stamp success on city postcards enterprise

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Monday 27th April 2015

YOUNG entrepreneurs hope to put their stamp on a business contest today after holding a final sale of their colourful Oxford postcards.

Residents call for traffic-calming measures

Oxford Mail:

5:00am Monday 27th April 2015

A “RAT RUN” road needs to be tackled after two pet cats were killed in two days with fears a child could be next, campaigners said.

E-fit released in connection with Wood Farm robbery

Oxford Mail:

12:34pm Sunday 26th April 2015

A MAN was punched after being forced to hand over his phone and cash to man on Wood Farm Road, police said.

UPDATE: Mayfair Road man appears in court on Barton murder charge as alleged victim is named as Wojciech Ryniak

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

11:04am Saturday 25th April 2015

A MAN has today appeared in court charged with murder after a man was found with chest injuries in Barton late on Tuesday night.

Defibrillator campaign smashes its 200 target - now let's go for 500

Oxford Mail:

9:04am Saturday 25th April 2015

ONE man’s mission to get 200 more public defibrillators across Oxfordshire has smashed its target thanks to the Oxford Mail.

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