18 Oct

International Paralympic Committee Athlete of the Year Chosen

Richard Whitehead

Paralympic champion and marathon runner extraordinaire Richard Whitehead has been voted the International Paralympic Committee's Athlete of the Year for September.

The amputee ran 40 marathons in 40 days the length of Great Britain from August to September to raise money for British charities and awareness for the Paralympic movement. He crossed the finish line less than two months after becoming the 200m T42 world champion at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

"When finishing my epic 977-mile run from John O'Groats to Land's End, I was overwhelmed with emotion for the great feat that I had achieved," he said. "This was an event with no gold medals, but breaking down new barriers in sport, and providing hope, opportunity and inspiration for others was what my main goal was. It means a lot to be recognised by the IPC and by the public that have given their time to vote for me."

Whitehead was supported by some of those members of the public during his journey, as several fans joined him for 5km, 10km or entire marathons along the way. Fellow British Paralympians Dan Greaves and Sarah Storey joined up with him, as did British Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington.

"The toughest part of the journey was the massive hills that I was having to climb day after day from around Day 30," Whitehead said. "Also, despite getting the big blisters, I had to keep going 26.2 miles every day."