The winner of the TAC Wheelchair Athletes' Challenge at the 2012
Great Ocean Road Marathon festival will receive an all-expenses
paid trip to the Singapore Marathon in December - a prize warmly
welcomed by Geelong's champion Paralympian Richard Colman.
The remarkable Colman, who will represent Australia at his third
Paralympic Games in London in August, won the 14km challenge from
Apollo Bay to Paradise and back in 2010 and last year.
His prize was a trip to the Honolulu Marathon last December
where he finished in fourth place in the wheelchair section, one
spot behind New Caledonia's Pierre Fairbank who was runner-up to
Colman in the 2011 TAC race.
The Singapore Marathon carnival embraces four events of varying
distances, including a special 10km race for wheelchair athletes,
and attracts a staggering 60,000 participants across the board.
"Going to Honolulu was a wonderful experience, but I reckon the
Singapore prize is fantastic," said Colman who will contest the 200
metres, 400m, 800m and 4 x 400m relay in London.
"It's amazing to have a wheelchair race in our own backyard at
the Great Ocean Road Marathon.
"No other wheelchair race in the world offers a prize like
Because of competition commitments in Switzerland and England at
the time of the Great Ocean Road festival (May 19 -20) neither
Colman nor Fairbank will line up in the Apollo Bay - Paradise event
But Melbourne's Brett McArthur, winner of the first two TAC
races in 2008 and 09, is a likely contender.
McArthur competed in the Boston Marathon last weekend and will
join Colman in the South Korean half-marathon on Sunday.
Geelong's Xavier Elsworthy, a rising star in wheelchair
athletics, is aiming to capture his first Apollo Bay victory when
the event is held at 12.30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19.
The TAC Wheelchair Athletes' Challenge is one of the most
popular races on the six-event Great Ocean Road Marathon Festival
The TAC, with support from Disability Sport and Recreation, has
backed the event since its inception.
The TAC's chief executive officer Janet Dore said the TAC
acknowledged the importance of the race for wheelchair athletes and
was proud to be supporting a world-class event.
"Our role is to reduce trauma on Victoria's roads and support
those involved in transport accidents," Ms. Dore said.
"This challenge inspires people involved in transport accidents to
regain their confidence and work towards independence.
"All competitors should be congratulated on their endeavor to
compete in such a tough event, and I wish them the best for the