A wheelchair athlete from Rossendale, Lancashire has completed a 900 mile push from Lands End to John O’Groats in just 20 days – settng a new World Record. 32-year-old Anthony Gotts is the first person in history to complete the gruelling journey from Cornwall to Scotland in a manual wheelchair, using arm power alone.
Setting off on June 14th and finishing on July 3rd 2016, Anthony pushed on average between 40 -50 miles per day without any rest day for three weeks. This was significantly more than the iniTally planned 33 miles per day. He originally set out to complete the journey in 28 days but found he was stronger than he anticipated and went on to finish his attempt in a record 20 days.
Anthony Gotts was an able-bodied athlete until he tore muscles and broke his pelvis in a freak long jumping accident. He had been looking to make the trials for the London Olympics, but gradually lost the use of both legs.
“I believe everyone on the planet can do extraordinary things – if they work hard and it means enough to them they can do something amazing. I turn 33 in July and I feel now is the time do my amazing thing as well as raising money for charity.”
In addition to taking on the challenge, Anthony was fundraising for the 53 foundation – a charity which raises money and awareness to create active opportunities for people with disabilities. Donations can be made at www.mydonate.bt.com/events/aglejog/308610 or by texting TFTF16 to 70070.
The challenge took much more than training, determination and charity donations as he needed as much help as he could get. He was accompanied by a small support team with a 6 birth motor home which was loaned to the challenge by Marquis Leisure and he also had support cyclists riding with him to ensure safety from from passing traffic.
Campsites along the way were kind enough to offer free pitches for each night of thier journey and other businesses offered help such as providing meals, sports supplements and physiotherapy. The support from the public was fantastic along the way with cheers, beeps and donations from bystanders and people driving past as he pushed alongside.