Thursday, December 3, 2020

Episode 51: Beth Evans, On Wheelchair Racing & The Magic of it All!

Episode 51 can be heard on most podcast apps, including Google, Spotify, Apple and Anchor!
Above: Beth arrives at another victory, Disney confetti greeting as she crosses the tape. Beth is from London, it is hard to race a wheelchair around most streets and even harder during Covid. But she has some wins behind her, and some inspiration in sharing the sport with the next generation. In a few short years, she has made a name for herself in the "most magical of racing locations", that of Disney destination races. For her, it is the entire package and gives her a reason to keep training, something to look forward to around the next bend... Speaking of which, there are many bends on a track when one is training for distance events like the marathon and half marathon, which she has been doing the past year.
Beth shares some of her perspectives on why the sport is growing and so important to people with disabilities and rare diseases like her own that prevent her from running or doing most other sports competitively. She tells the story of her own start, and how others encouraged and inspired her, starting with witness the London 2012 Paralympics which inspired me to get my first racing wheelchair. For Beth, the terms "running", "racing" and "wheeling/wheelchair racing" are interchangeable as she connects with and understands the challenges everyone faces in training for and completing a long distance endurance event. One of her greatest hopes is that she'll be able to help spread awareness and open up events for more young racers on wheels, including smaller and regional races that might not have thought it possible. She consults with many back in Britain and appreciates the opportunity to help, even in small ways.
Above: Showing off recent multiple victories at a Run Disney Weekend She also recalls one of her highlights of being medaled at Buckingham Palace in the interview, as she was born and raised in London. At the age of 16 she started experiencing health problems, and 3 years later was diagnosed with the rare condition of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. Since she received her first racing chair, she has faced many struggles with training and anxiety around competitions, but has found her niche and now races all over her home country, but mostly participates in "Run Disney" events. In fact, she has now won half marathon titles in 3 different countries and currently has 16 champion titles at Disney alone. A trip down photo lane reveals more medals than can be held up on one neck at a given time! Most of all, she asserts, "I like to share what I have learnt on Instagram at BethsWheels to help new wheelchair racers get in to the sport at an amateur level... and spreading the joy of running at Disney!"
------Outside Buckingham Palace in her home town of London, with other Champs------ Follow her on Instagram @BethsWheels and find out simple ways to support newcomers to the sport! To support us, you can also subscribe, share the episodes you love and like/visit our Facebook page @RunningAnthropologist

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