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My London Marathon experience as a disabled person

With the London Marathon returning this October. We spoke to Matt, a previous London Marathon runner, who uses a frame runner, he talks about the benefits of physical activity and his experience of taking part in the London Marathon.

Hi, I’m Matt. I started running using a frame runner when I was 13 years old and since then, I’ve competed in over 8 running events.

In 2021, I took part in my first in-person marathon in London. I was excited but wondered if I had bitten off a bit too much at the same time.

“Running makes me feel good and gives me confidence in my ability”

Running feels me with a sense of freedom and accomplishment. Even with a physical impairment that affects my movements and speech. I can run as far and as fast as I want.

Running also improves my mood and mental health. During lockdown when I couldn’t run, I was feeling low and fed up a lot of the time. So, it was great when I was able to get back on the track.

Adjustments the London Marathon made

Explaining my frame runner and how it works was the longest part. But once the London Marathon understood what adjustments I needed, things started to fall into place.

Getting to the start area

My frame runner is quite large, and it doesn’t fit on public transport. I was given a car pass so that I could get as close to the start as possible.

When I arrived at the start area, there was a dedicated official waiting to meet me. They took me through to the starting line, where I was at the front of my pen alongside wheelchair users.

After finishing the run

At the finish line, I was met again by another official, who collected my bag and finisher’s medal and then accompanied me to an agreed meeting point where my family were waiting.

I never thought I’d be able to run a marathon, but now I know it’s possible. In the future I want to see more disabled people running.

My message for other disabled people

Don’t let your impairment or condition stop you from doing what you want. It doesn’t matter what kind of impairment you have, there is always a way to become more active. And that has a beneficial effect on all aspects of your life.

You can achieve anything, if you put your mind to it.

Find out more about taking part in the London Marathon, or any other challenge events.

You can also get in touch with the Events team at events@scope.org.uk.

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