My London Marathon Diary - Chris Rattenbury

Welcome to a new blog/training diary from Chris Rattenbury, who this year will be taking on his biggest ever challenge, the 2021 Virgin London Marathon.

Chris has been a volunteer with WheelPower for over 10 years and is also one of our fantastic charity ambassadors. He continues to support the charity in every way he can, from day-to-day admin tasks to informative talks to schools and groups, telling them all about the WheelPower story. 

After the postponement of the 2020 London Marathon Chris decided to have his place moved forward to this year's event and now he is very excited to be able to share his story with you over the next six months. Each month Chris will be providing us with an update on how training is going and how plans are coming together for the big day on October 3rd. 

Thank you for reading and please do pop back to hear about how Chris is doing. DONATE to Chris's Marathon Challenge by clicking on the button below, thank you ... 

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3 April 2021 - Meet Chris Q & A

Can you please tell me a bit more about yourself and your work with WheelPower ?

I’m Chris, and I'm 42 years old. I grew up mainly in Milton Keynes, except for the first 7 years of my life. I went to a special school for 2 years and was then moved into a mainstream school. I’m a volunteer and ambassador for WheelPower. I attended WheelPower camps when I was a child and as an adult, and I attended National Games taking part in Powerlifting.  WheelPower helped fund the GB team to go to World Wheelchair Games in New Zealand in 1999 and I was proud to be a part of that team. They have also helped fund a couple other Powerlifting trips I have been a part of representing GB and British Weightlifting Association For Disabled. I began volunteering for WheelPower in 2010. I help out at the office and have the pleasure of going to schools, rotary clubs & other events to help promote WheelPower. 


Chris and the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch 

I have Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Spina Bifida is a disability caused by the spine not forming properly. Hydrocephalus is water around the brain that may need a tube insertion into the skull at birth and then for life to help drain water into the stomach or heart.

What sports have you taken part in throughout your life and how important are sport & fitness to you?

I have played wheelchair basketball on and off since the age of 10. I currently play for Aces Wheelchair Basketball Club at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. I wheelchair raced from age of 14-17 and then I did powerlifting for 17 years from 1997. I represented GB at World Champs and Euro Champs and represented England at 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. I retired in 2014. 


Chris and members of Team England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi

Chris (pictured left) and the British Team.
World Wheelchair Games, New Zealand 1999

Powerlifting Training in Hut 6 (Stoke Mandeville Stadium)

British Team Photo (Chris pictured centre) NZ 1999

National Championships (Stoke Mandeville Stadium)

Chris and the British Team! (Dubai 2014)

National Championships (Stoke Mandeville Stadium)

Fitness has always been very important to me, whilst I did not have any intention to be an athlete when I was younger, I always liked to keep active.

Why did you decide to choose the London Marathon and how has training going been going so far?

Although I did not want to do sport as a child, I have always been very keen to do the London Marathon as I remember watching it on the TV and loving all the fancy dress and characters that took part. It is a very important personal goal for me to do the London Marathon as I didn’t get to do it in a racing chair. I think doing it in a day chair is a bigger challenge and goal and will represent a massive achievement for myself. I think postponing 2020 London Marathon was the right thing to do and whilst it was disappointing not to do it, it made me more determined to be even more prepared for 2021 London Marathon. 

Can you tell me about the wheelchair you will be using for the event and who are you doing the challenge for? 

I will be using an Ottobock Ventus, which is my fabulous day chair. It is extremely well built and durable. I’m also proud to be an ambassador for Ottobock, they have been incredibly supportive of my challenge in doing the London Marathon.


Chris testing out his new chair at Stoke Mandeville Stadium (Image: Ottobock UK) 

READ: Chris Rattenbury's Ventus story

I am doing the London Marathon to raise money for WheelPower as I have been incredibly lucky to have amazing support from WheelPower throughout my sporting and personal life. Hopefully, I can raise them alot of money and with your help WheelPower can improve the lives of more disabled people through sport and physical activity. Please give what you can and sponsor me via  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-rattenbury


1 April 2021 - Welcome to Chris's London Marathon Diary 

Chris has been a volunteer with WheelPower for over 10 years and is now one of our fantastic charity ambassadors. He continues to support the charity in every way he can, from day-to-day admin tasks, to informative talks to schools and groups, telling them all about the WheelPower story. This year he is going to be doing the London Marathon in his day chair and with our support we can help him along the way. 


Chris and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Torch

After the postponement of the 2020 London Marathon Chris now has his sights set on the 2021 event and through this online blog we will be following his journey over the coming 6 months and checking in with Chris regularly to see how training is going as he gets closer to the start line on Sunday October 3rd 2021. 

Chris will be taking part in the London Marathon in support of WheelPower and he hopes that you will be cheering him on along the way. With your support you can help him to reach his fundraising goal and by doing so really give him that extra boost to keep on pushing as the training continues.  

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