Paralympic hopeful, Justin Levene, has begun to stamp his authority on the world of long distance wheelchair racing with a hard fought win at the Dubai Marathon. Justin secured first place in a time of 1 hour 56 minutes 38 seconds, beating his closest rival by the smallest of margins.
The race had been extremely competitive, despite the very high temperatures. Justin suffered severe nausea during the race, which had threatened to hamper his attempts at a podium finish and a serious collision with another competitor had come close to finishing his race prematurely, but Justin battled on to win his first international marathon.
Aspire is particularly proud of Justin because he is a familiar face within our National Training Centre where he has used our facilities as part of his training schedule. The Aspire National Training Centre has fully inclusive facilities that are ideal for both disabled and non-disabled people. Having trained with us, Justin took to wheelchair racing and was “spotted” at the Silverstone Half Marathon in March 2013 by David Weir, with whom he now trains every week. He took part in the Virgin London Marathon in 2013, using a borrowed racing chair which had a major mechanical failure during the event. Undaunted, Justin finished with the elite racers, but realised he needed his own chair if he was to develop further. Thanks to Aspire Grants who part-funded a racing chair, Justin has continued to go from strength to strength and we all hope his win at Dubai is the precursor to even greater successes.
Aspire Grants gives money to people with spinal cord injuries to help them buy the essential equipment they need to live a more independent life. If you are interested in finding out more about this service and details on how to apply for a grant, please call Kim on 020 8420 6707.