Wheelchair athlete Rich Sampson has completed his first-ever marathon – with the backing of JCB.
The businessman finished the London Marathon at the weekend in a time of five hours and 55 minutes after completing his training on the mile-long path around the lake at JCB’s World Headquarters at Rocester.
And his marathon efforts have paid off in a big way for the Back Up charity which helped him rebuild his life after a motorbike accident which almost killed him and left him paralysed. He has so far raised more than £6,000 for the organisation – including a £500 donation from JCB.
Rich, 50, was on a motorcycling holiday eight years ago when he was involved in a horrific 100mph head-on collision in northern Spain. The crash left him in a coma for six weeks, paralysed from the chest down and facing a long uphill battle to recover.
Rich said: “Back Up is a charity for people such as me living with spinal cord injury; they mentored me through the worst days after almost 10 months in hospital, and showed me that I could still have a life in a chair.”
“That’s why I have such a passion for them and want to put something back; I’d been thinking of doing a marathon before my accident, and while it was very tough, completing the London Marathon feels like an amazing achievement considering where I was eight years ago.”
Rich, who works full-time running his own groundworks company, added: “It’s absolutely fantastic that JCB has chosen to support me with such a generous donation – and it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”