TT2 proud host of T2K – the fastest wheelchair race in the world
TT2 Limited welcomed an international field of athletes to the Tyne Tunnel on the evening of 2nd October 2008, to host the Tunnel 2K wheelchair race.
Fast becoming a cult global event, the race is also the fastest of its kind in the world.
This year’s medal table looked like this:
Men’s Race Results:
1 Josh Cassidy CANADA 4.24.2
Women’s Race Results:
1 Diane Roy CANADA 5.19.7
Race organiser, David Burdus, describes the action:
“Beijing 5000m pile up survivor, Diane Roy, and fellow paralympian, Josh Cassidy, beat off a strong international field to take line honours in the ‘fastest race on the planet’.
“The cult wheelchair race involves a 1km high speed free coast to the belly of the river Tyne and a shoulder burning 1km climb out.
“Roy powered up the killer climb ahead of Beijing silver medallist, GB’s Shelly Woods, in a time of 5mins 17.7 seconds. Italy’s Francesca Porcelatto was third.
“In the Men’s race, Cassidy had to make up 200m on Germany’s Ralph Brunner from the belly of the river and did so with an impressive show of metal and muscle. His time was 4mins 24.2 seconds. Briton Tushar Patel took third place.”
Dame Tanni Grey Thompson officially launched the race at the Tyne Tunnel in the early hours of Friday morning, 26th September.
Since its inauguration in 1993 the GEZE TT2K has become a “must do” challenge amongst the world’s top athletes, and forms part of NewcastleGateshead’s world-class festivals and events programme, developed by culture10.
Each year it attracts an internationally renowned field of elite and record holding athletes, but this year the field is the strongest ever with 12 Paralympians from Beijing 2008 lining up to take part.
The GEZE Tunnel 2K International has to be seen to be believed. A daring display of metal and muscle meeting speed and stamina described as “bizarre and barking mad but totally unique”, by Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, who has taken part in the TT2K six times.
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson said:
“I am thrilled to see this event return to the Tyne Tunnel, and even more delighted to officially launch the race in its seventh year.
“The uniqueness and the sheer challenge that Tunnel 2K International presents has established it as the highlight of the world wheelchair-racing calendar. It’s a showcase for disability sport in the North East England.”
“This night time event takes place through the Tyne Tunnel in North East England which provides the 2km course that runs under the belly of the River Tyne. There’s nothing like it anywhere in the world. There is a 100m sprint start to the entrance portal. Within seconds, you’re smashing the Tunnel’s 30mph speed limit on the 1km downhill section – the course speed record is an unbelievable 47.6 mph. Then it’s a shoulder-burning 1km straight up and pain, pain, pain all the way to the finish line’.
Trevor Jackson, Managing Director of TT2, the Tyne Tunnel operator, is delighted to provide the venue for this acclaimed event.
He said: “There are very few things that we would consider closing the Tyne Tunnel for. There is a constant stream of traffic, 24 hours a day, wishing to use the tunnel, which forms part of the strategic A19 corridor. It is our job to keep traffic moving.
“However the drama of T2K, the passion of the competitors, and the incredible achievements that are made here every year, make a compelling case for us to allow the tunnel to be taken over for a short period of time so that the race can go ahead.
“I am thrilled to support this incredible race”