Paralympic golden boy races beneath the Tyne
DATE: 12 September 2012
Fresh from the London 2012 Paralympics, British Gold medal winner Mickey Bushell arrives on Tyneside this Friday (14th September 2012) to face the challenge of racing under the Tyne. The twelfth Tyne Tunnel 2k wheelchair race takes place through the northbound vehicular Tyne Tunnel, attracting some of the best wheelchair athletes in the world, as well as the upcoming stars of tomorrow.
Reaching speeds of up to 50mph during the race, the unique event, dubbed “the fastest wheelchair race on the planet”, involves a hair-raising dash to the belly of the Tyne, followed by an agonising climb out to the other side.
Mickey Bushell will be joined by fellow Paralympians Canada’s Josh Cassidy, the Marathon World Record Holder, with Britons Jade Jones from Teesside and Jamie Carter. The field of world class athletes will see a mixture of experience and youth, maintaining the ethos of the race to provide a platform for tomorrow’s Paralympians to develop their racing techniques.
David Burdus, T2K Race Promoter said: “Back in 2005 we welcomed a young teenager by the name of Mickey Bushell to Tunnel 2k to compete in this unique race for the first time. I don’t think he knew what had hit him after he’d flown through the downhill at tear-inducing speed, to suddenly be confronted with the immense, and seemingly never ending uphill back out of the tunnel. But he held his own in a field of strong adult athletes, and look at him now! We like to think Tunnel 2k has played a small part in creating the awesome Paralympian we’ll be welcoming back on Friday!”
Rachel Turnbull, CEO of Tyne Tunnel operator TT2, said: “This is an event that we are pleased to make an exception for: this is the only event we close the Tyne Tunnel for; this is absolutely the only time we permit speeding in our tunnels! And the only time we have ever renamed the Tyne Tunnels was to honour our T2K athletes.
“We make exceptions for Tunnel 2K because this is an exceptional race. We are honoured that so many of the world’s best wheelchair athletes have graced our temporary race track over the years, and we feel immensely proud to be able to
deliver an event like this right here on Tyneside.”
With previous competitors including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, David Weir MBE, and Shelly Woods, the race has a great pedigree, and continues to attract the best the sport has to offer. Josh Cassidy returns to defend his title, which he won with the fastest ever Tunnel 2K race time last year through the southbound vehicle tunnel (3 minutes 33 seconds).
This year’s race will takeplace at 9pm on Friday 14th September through the northbound Tyne Tunnel. The two kilometre long race starts at the south junction of the Tyne Tunnels, in Jarrow, South Tyneside and finishes just beyond the northbound toll plaza in Howdon, North Tyneside. Northbound traffic will be stopped briefly to allow the athletes through the tunnel.
Filming, photography and interview opportunities are available. Please contact David Burdus or Tamsin Greulich for details:
Race promoter, David Burdus, TEL: 07980 887 861 / 01434 633 203, EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
TT2 Communications Manager, Tamsin Greulich, TEL: 07866 565 457, EMAIL: email@example.com
Further information about the race is available at www.tunnel2k.com