4th Tunnel Victory
News 15th September 2012
World record marathon holder Josh Cassidy stormed to victory last night in England’s cult wheelchair race under the river Tyne.
Once a year, the 2km road tunnel near Newcastle in North East England becomes a temporary race course when it is closed to traffic in the dead of night. It is dubbed the ‘fastest wheelchair race on the planet’ by its promoters and sure enough it only 45 seconds into the race before Cassidy, out in front, hit 72kph on the 1km dash to the river belly. Cassidy achieves this incredible speed in part by his tight racing position – for much of the time his head is tucked down hard with his eyes fixed on the tarmac directly beneath his chair frame. He effectively ‘wheels blind’ to remain aerodynamically efficient. He then made the shoulder burning 1 in 20 gradient 1km climb out of the tunnel look like a walk in the Olympic Park, powering out into the night air more than 58 seconds ahead of his closest rival England’s Phil Hogg in 5.37.9 and third place London 2012 T53 100m Gold Medalist, Mickey Bushell in a time of 5.41.7.
Tunnel 2K is the first major competition in the road racing calendar after the Paralympic Marathon on 9th September
Cassidy said “I love the adrenaline charged super speeds on the Tunnel downhill and the challenge of the grueling uphill. I have been here six times now and there is no race quite like it anywhere else in the world!”
Last night made it Tunnel 2K win number four for Cassidy in five years. Tomorrow Cassidy competes in the Great North Run, a UK based half marathon which he won in 2011.
David Burdus . Promoter for Josh Cassidy
Director . Burdus . Overwater . Corbridge . Northumberland . NE45 5QX . England