Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 18:00 UK

Record time for wheelchair race

Rhys Llewellyn-Williams and his team
Rhys Llewellyn-Williams won the race for the second time in two years

A wheelchair race up and down Wales' highest mountain was won in record time raising more than 40,000 for charity.

At least one member in all of the 17 teams which took part in the Snowdon Push on Saturday was in a wheelchair and all finished safe and sound.

Rhys Llewellyn-Williams, 30, who is paralysed, completed the course with his team in 2hr 46 minutes beating their winning 2007 time of three hours.

The event is run by the Back-Up Trust which helps those with spinal injuries.

The race is held each year to raise awareness about spinal injuries and funds for the Trust which supports spinal injured people across the UK.

People with spinal injuries take part in the race and are the focus of their team's attention in that their team-mates must push and pull them up and down the mountain in their wheelchairs.

The slowest team came down in nine hours and it was an absolutely fantastic day and we've probably raised more money than we ever have before
Bea Richardson - Back Up Trust

The aim is to complete the course from Llanberis Community Centre up to the summit of Snowdon and back again as quickly as possible which every team managed to do in this year's push.

The winner, Mr Llewellyn-Williams, is originally from Bridgend and now lives in Cardiff and is paralysed from the waist down following a mountain bike accident in 2000.

The trust's corporate partnerships and communications officer Bea Richardson said the event passed without any serious injury to competitors and raised at least 10,000 more for the charity than they expected.

"There were a couple of people who needed some assistance coming down the mountain as they had sprained an ankle but everyone came back safe and well," she said.

"I didn't think it would be possible for Rhys to beat last year's time but his team managed to finish the whole course in two hours and 46 minutes.

'Fantastic day'

"It was a really fantastic time because there were such high winds on the mountain when we started that it was looking like we might have to turn the teams back for safety reasons but then the weather picked up and everything was alright after that.

"The slowest team came down in nine hours and it was an absolutely fantastic day and we've probably raised more money than we ever have before.

"At the moment it looks like we have raised at least 40,000 but there will probably be more money to come.

"Our corporate teams who are trying to get their sponsorship doubled so we might end up getting nearer to 50,000 or more."

The largest single fundraiser on the day was Barry West, who is paralysed from shoulders down, who made nearly 9,000 for the charity from his efforts on the day.




SEE ALSO
Wheelchair race to scale Snowdon
24 May 08 |  North West Wales

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