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Q&A with richard whitehead

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Richard Whitehead

27 December 2013

We caught up with T42 200m Paralympic and world champion Richard Whitehead (coach: Keith Antoine) and asked him a few quick fire questions about life as an athlete.

Biggest achievement in 2013?

Running the 40 marathons in 40 days - I’m a hardcore athlete. You ask any other athlete if they could run 200m, win gold in their chosen discipline and run the length of Britain. Nobody has done it. The reason why I took up the challenge is I felt Paralympic sport would benefit massively from me doing and the charities have had some great feedback from it. It’s the hardest thing I’ve done by a mile, but it was definitely beneficial to have done it. I’ve had no recurring injuries since finishing and I don’t think it has affected what I’m able to do on the track. Hopefully I can continue to be successful and pass on my experience from the summer I spent running.

Funniest moment of 2013? Seeing my fellow GB & NI teammate Scott Moorhouse finishing the 10km (during his quest to run 40 marathons in 40 days) and Mikail Huggins (guide runner to Libby Clegg) thinking he can do half a marathon without any training, that was quite funny.

Funniest athlete? Graeme Ballard. He comes out with some great one liners! Paralympic World Cup one year, I wasn’t there but I heard about it. His mum said “Graeme are they your tracksuit bottoms over there?” And he goes “nope they’re not my tracksuit bottoms” and with a really straight face “I’ve got em on.” It’s just the way he said it, he didn’t even look to see if they were his. Graeme has got hundreds of one liners.

Best performance and why? Aled Davies (F42 discus and shot put) double gold in Lyon. He showed how much he’s come on as an athlete showing total commitmentand how he will a force to be reckoned with in 2016. He’s a great role model for Paralympic sport

Highlight of 2013? The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games wearing my gold blades and coming across the finish line and when I met a young girl called Marina (a double leg amputee) who we met on the run in the last few days and we’ve now provided her with two running feet which she didn’t have before.   

Best track and why? Daft Punk, Get Lucky

Describe yourself in three words? Determined, focused, professional

What’s your guilty pleasure? Chocolate – Dairy Milk  

Most treasured possession and why? My little girl, but my fiancé has just shouted at me!