Paralympic gold-medallist David Weir will join the best wheelchair athletes on the planet for a race on Tyneside.
The 34-year-old – who won four gold medals at last years Paralympic Games and goes under the moniker of the “Weirwolf” – will take part in the Tyne Tunnel 2k Race on the evening of September 13. Once the wheelchair athletes have battled it out through the northbound vehicle tunnel a new cycling event will be staged named “Velocity”.
It is a mass elimination, power sprint cycle race that will give more than 100 competitors the chance to speed through the Tyne Tunnel in a series of drag-style races, leading to a grand finale at the end of the night.
Qualifying events have been taking place throughout the summer, from St. James’ Park to Bamburgh Castle, with the final qualifier due to be held on August 31 at the Metrocentre in Gateshead. Rachel Turnbull, TT2’s CEO, said “Other than the Royal ceremony last year, Tunnel 2K is the only event we close a vehicle tunnel for.
“We are committed to supporting the race because we truly believe it changes the way people look at disability sports. The wheelchair race through the tunnel is very much about celebrating ability. It’s thrilling to watch and attracts the best in the sport.
“However, the race has always been hosted as a televised, closed invitation event. We have been looking at ways to open up the race to our local communities, and we decided that the exciting qualities of the Velocity sprint race would complement the wheelchair race perfectly, showcasing just what people are capable of whether able bodied or not.
“The races present very different, yet equally demanding, challenges for the athletes in each event. We are delighted to be able to share this high adrenaline night with a wider audience.”
Young people wishing to leave their mark on this inaugural event are also being invited to get involved by designing the official event T-shirt.
The competition is open to under-16s, with a set of four VIP tickets to the event up for grabs and a £100 high street gift voucher for the winning entrant. The winning design will be printed as official event merchandise, with a special signed T-shirt autographed by this year’s T2K champion being presented to the competition winner.
There are no limitations on the design, so long as it can fit on to the front of a T-shirt. The winning entry will best capture the essence of the exciting race night, showcasing what people can achieve through sheer muscle power and mental strength.
Children up to the age of 16 can submit entries via Instagram @tt2kvelocity or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Hard copies can be posted to TT2kV, TT2 Limited, Tyne Tunnels 2, Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, NE28 0PQ.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the race with interested businesses asked to contact Velocity Street Racing or www.tunnel2k.com