Polio survivor's triumph in wheelchair race

Ian Irving
Ian Irving

A Wigan polio survivor was tired but triumphant after taking part in the first ever four-wheeled equivalent of a famous race.


Ian Irving from Lowton was one of just five people with varying disabilities to participate in the inaugural Unlimited Great North Run Wheelchair Event.

Launched by The Unlimited Company from Simplyhealth and The Great Run Company, the race took place in Newcastle the day before The Great North Run.


Aged three, Ian contracted polio, a viral infection that can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, which affected both his legs.


The 66-year-old now suffers with post-polio syndrome, which causes further muscle weakness and fatigue if he doesn’t pace himself properly.


He said: “It was great! I was knackered when I finished. What an experience though - I can’t wait for the next event!”


The Unlimited Company invited people to apply for the chance to be fitted with a racing wheelchair and to have the opportunity to train with Paralympic coach Rick Hoskins before taking part in the one-mile event.


Ian was a total wheelchair racing novice when he started training with Rick a few weeks ago, but successfully completed the one-mile course and was delighted to take part in an event designed to encourage participation in disability sports.