Run blind and swim with no legs—the ‘Rwanda triathlon’ for Pat and Doug
- Credit: Patrick Jenkinson/Doug Flynn
Two pals take a break from London’s world of business to head out to Africa to run blind, race in wheelchairs and swim with their legs tied—even though they’re fit as a fiddle.
Patrick Jenkinson, 29, and Doug Flynn, 27, have been training in Victoria Park in east London pushing wheelchairs and running blindfold.
They’ve also been swimming at Bethnal Green’s York Hall leisure centre with their legs tied, all for a triathlon they’ve come up with as if they were paraplegics.
“We had to learn to run blind and guide each other—with a few falls, trips and collisions along the way,” Patrick says in Thursday’s East London Advertiser.
“There is a real social stigma attached to the disabled in many parts of Africa. They are the last to be clothed, the last to be fed, the last in everything.”
So the pals from Bethnal Green fly out to Rwanda next Tuesday (Sept 6) to run their own triathlon—a blind marathon, a wheelchair marathon and a 2km no-leg swim on consecutive days, to help their fight to get East Africa’s disabled integrated into normal society.
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Both have strong connections with Africa. Investment manager Patrick worked on a sports camp in Rwanda for six weeks. Management consultant Doug was born in Zambia and spent his youth there.
“We both wanted to do something for a worthy cause in a continent we love,” Patrick explained.
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“But we wanted it to be different, to put ourselves in the shoes of those much less fortunate than us.
“So we came up with this triathlon with events which the disabled have to do every day of their lives.”
They are raising awareness—and cash—for two charities, Motivation which provides wheelchairs for the disabled in developing countries and Handicap International which works with disabled and vulnerable people worldwide.
Check out Patrick and Doug on their website and follow the progress in Rwanda