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Marathon runner hopes to inspire others

A Southampton man who suffers from a form of cerebral palsy is out to complete the ABP Southampton Marathon using hiking sticks.

Gus McKechnie is going to push his body and mind to the limits as he takes on the 26.2-mile course on April 22nd.

The 42-year-old, who also has hemiparesis, says he wants to show others the benefits of a positive mental attitude by completing the challenge.

Gus said: “It can be easy to listen to the negative part of your brain that makes you think ‘I couldn’t possibly do that’ or ‘I’m not strong enough’. I want to show people that they can achieve so much more than they give themselves credit for.

“With the right positive attitude the world is at your feet. Hopefully if people see me doing the full ABP Southampton Marathon they’ll be inspired to take on a marathon themselves.”

Gus’ condition means he has less function in the left hand side of his body. He’s able go about his day to day life without crutches or a wheelchair for most of the time but if he pushes himself too hard he can need some assistance.

He’s been careful to incorporate his training into his everyday life, racking up around 5k every day and hitting St Mary’s gym to work on his upper body strength.

Gus, who works at Ordnance Survey and is one of the company’s GetOutside champions, said: “I’ll be relying on my upper body to keep me balanced when I start getting tired so it’s important for me to work on that as well as the walking.”

Gus is no stranger to the ABP Southampton Marathon. Last year he took part in the half marathon distance in a specially adapted sports wheelchair.

He hopes to complete the marathon in five and a half hours – 30 minutes under the official cut-off time for participants.

Last year a huge 10,000 runners signed up and people have until March 15 to get their entries in for this year’s event. To find out more and sign up visit www.abpsouthamptonmarathon.co.uk

To sponsor Gus visit www.justgiving.com/gusrolls

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