The Superhero series and Parallel London are two accessible sporting events open to all. The Superhero Series was founded by Paralympian Sophia Warner in 2017 and comprises of two events: the Superhero tri which is a triathlon held each August and the Winter Wonderwheels which is a walk/wheel held each December. Parallel London was founded by Andrew Douglass in 2016 and is an accessible run.
The Superhero Series events are held at Dorney Lake, Windsor. I have participated in the Superhero tri twice and have thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a great atmosphere. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. There is a huge range of disabilities, but the day is about your ability, not disability! There are three different distances. The sprint which comprises of 150-metre swim, 3km cycle and 1km walk/ wheel. The half superhero tri which comprises of a 400-metre swim, 10km cycle and 2.5km walk/wheel. Lastly, the full superhero tri which is a 750-metre swim, 20km cycle and 5km walk/wheel. It can be completed as a team or individually(fly solo). The only criteria is that one person in each team considers themselves to have a disability. Superhero capes or costumes are strongly encouraged! Some of the costumes are amazing!
The Winter Wonderwheels is held just before Christmas and is full festive spirit… So it isn’t the event for you if you are barhumbug! Again there are three different distances: 1km, 5km or 10km. Be ready to see lots of father Christmases, elves, sparkle and glitter!
Parallel London last took place in The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2017. Parallel is set to take place in Windsor Great Park, Windsor, on 28th June 2020 and Nottingham at the University of Nottingham, on 17th May 2020. There are several different distances: 10km, 5km, 1km, 100 metres and the supersensory 1km. I love their slogan ‘start together and finish whenever’. It gives a very welcoming feel to the event. I have not participated in the event, but I hope to in the future. Maybe even parallel Windsor next year!
With both events there are no cut off times. Carers or sidekicks as they are known in the superhero series- and any equipment are allowed, including inflatable boats in the superhero tri for participants to be towed in by their sidekicks!
Although there is still a long way to go for inclusivity and equality, we are so lucky to now have these inclusive sporting events available to all. Both events are relatively new and create wonderful opportunities for disabled people. Opportunities that boost mental wellbeing, get people active, can lead to friendships, enable participants to push boundaries, giving them a sense of achievement, and above all are enjoyable and fun!