England wheelchair rugby league team captain Martin Lane took to the streets of Swindon last weekend in a marathon push to cover 31 miles to raise money for a new wheelchair.
Martin, 42, of Eldene, fell from a roof nine years ago and suffered spinal injuries and now needs a new chair in preparation for the Four Nations tournament taking place next month.
On Saturday he was cheered on by supportive residents as he navigated the M4 junctions cautiously, and is more than half way towards his goal of £2,500.
“I hate asking for money but I have to recognise I need better equipment,” he said. “I have now got about £1,230, with a few hundred more to come in.
“I did a marathon last year round a track on a handbike – that was all very well but it’s not my everyday form of propulsion. I wanted to have a go in my wheelchair around the streets of Swindon.
“I hit Hodson Hill at about 22 miles in and that was a killer. You really don’t know what a hill is until you are pushing your own body up it. I went through junctions 15 and 16 on the M4 hoping people were kind enough to slow down. We had a sign on the car behind me asking people to slow down, and thankfully they did.
“There was a lot of support, and someone from one row of houses must have passed me in their car because when I got there about a dozen people were out on the street cheering me on. There were lots of cyclists out on the road clapping and cheering me on too.
“The whole thing took five hours and there were only two people who got a little impatient, and we did hold up a lot of traffic. That rekindles your faith in humanity really.
“Next year I will be doing a triathlon with a friend from Bath Uni, but before that I’m doing a swim, probably about 3km.
“I did an assembly at Sevenfields and all the kids came up with some challenges for me to do, so I am going to ask one of the pools to allow me a lane.”
To support Martin and donate towards the cost of the new wheelchair, visit www.gofundme.com/ampvio