Adrian’s story: The Manchester Marathon

Adrian posing by a wall with a bike

In 2016 Adrian was participating in a cycling challenge from Newcastle to London, riding with 650 others. When he was 30 miles in, he was suddenly hit by a pick-up truck. The impact sent him flying off his bike, and he had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance.

“My legs weren’t responding when they were checked at the hospital – there was a high possibility I could have been paralysed. I had broken my vertebrae between T12 and L3.”

The crash resulted in Adrian having several ongoing health issues. He has nerve damage in his lower back and groin as well as PTSD – but despite the impact of the crash, he had not sustained a spinal cord injury.

“If my injury had been just a millimetre deeper, I would have been permanently paralysed. My spinal cord was left undamaged.”

A few years after his accident, Adrian decided that he was ready to try taking on a big challenge again. He chose to run the Manchester marathon.

“I decided on Manchester because it’s quite a flat marathon route. That will make it a lot easier on my back, helping me manage my nerve pain.”

“It’ll be a great city for a first marathon!”

While researching charities he could support with his marathon challenge, Adrian came across Back Up. Our work instantly resonated with him. Although he does not have a spinal cord injury, he understands how it can change a life.

“A serious injury can make you feel like your life is over. You can feel really secluded. If it wasn’t for charities like Back Up, people with a spinal cord injury wouldn’t be able to live an active life.

“I really like how Back Up provides support in different ways – especially support for family members and loved ones, not just the injured person.”

Adrian posing with his wife Louise in a car park

Adrian posing with his wife Louise.

Adrian has a family of his own – a wife and two children. His wife Louise will be running the marathon with him. This challenge means quite a lot to both of them – she was there to support him after his accident.

“My wife was with me from day one. She really helped with my mental health and with the kids. Without her I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far. I’m really looking forward to running with her.

“Training for the marathon is giving us a lot of time with each other too. On Sundays we get a babysitter and run five or six miles together.”

Although Adrian is an active person – he plays rugby on a regular basis – training for a marathon can be intense. To keep focused, Adrian recommends setting yourself a goal.

“You need to give yourself a purpose when taking on a big challenge. I’m focusing on building up my fitness and keeping in shape – all while doing something for the people Back Up supports.”

We’re delighted that Adrian is taking on this challenge for us. If you’re interested in doing a fundraising challenge of your own, please get in touch. Be sure to check out Adrian’s Instagram and fundraising page.

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