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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2007, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Wheelchair users race up Snowdon
Rhys Llewellyn-Williams and his team
Rhys Llewellyn-Williams and his team finished in three hours
Wheelchair users and teams of their friends raced each other up Snowdon to raise money for charity.

Fifteen teams of 10 people, each including one member in a wheelchair, scaled the Llanberis Pass on the highest peak in Wales and England.

The wheelchairs were mostly pulled up using ropes and many had been specially adapted for the challenge on Saturday.

It is hoped around 30,000 will be raised by the Snowdon Push event, organised by the Back-Up Trust.

One of those on the climb was Rhys Llewellyn-Williams, 29, who broke his neck in a mountain biking accident six years ago.

He took on the feat with his brother, two cousins and friends from Cardiff - where he now lives - and Bridgend, where he is originally from.

Speaking before the event, Mr Llewellyn-Williams said: "We did the same event in the Lake District last year and it was gruelling.

"Even though it was really hard, it was really rewarding because of the buzz you got from getting to the top of the mountain.

Rhys and his team on Helvellyn last year
The top of a mountain... is a surreal place for a wheelchair to be
Rhys Llewellyn-Williams

"It's exhilarating and liberating to be in the fresh air on the top of a mountain - and it's a surreal place for a wheelchair to be."

Mr Llewellyn-Williams has been rock climbing and canoeing with the Back-Up Trust, and volunteers with the charity, teaching wheelchair skills to help people gain more independence.

In preparation for the Snowdon Push, he trained on Pen-y-fan in the Brecon Beacons, and other mountains, and added mountain bike wheels and aluminium bars to the wheelchair he used during the climb.

Friendly rivalry over who would make the fastest time was fierce between the teams, according to Mr Llewellyn-Williams whose team have raised 1,800 in sponsorship so far.

'Sheer determination'

His father, Gareth Llewellyn-Williams, said his son's team had finished the race first in three hours - 30 minutes ahead of the second team.

He said they had won because of "sheer determination, commitment, and practice".

"There was the added commitment of being the only Welsh team competing on home soil," he said.

"It was a brilliant event. Seeing the commitment of the teams and support of the charity, it was uplifting."

Bea Richardson, from the Back-Up Trust, said: "It is a race. Some people come back year after year and take it very seriously.

"For others it's more of a fun thing to do."


SEE ALSO
'Rob the Rubbish' tackles Snowdon
15 Apr 07 |  Mid Wales
Alarm singer aims high with tour
12 Mar 07 |  North East Wales
Snowdon cafe 'skeleton' unveiled
21 Feb 07 |  North West Wales
Scientist's fear for Snowdon snow
16 Jan 07 |  North West Wales
Snowdon visitors' centre is named
13 Dec 06 |  North West Wales

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