Tyne Tunnel Wheelchair Race: A19 set to be transformed into race track

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Athletes will be whizzing through the Tyne Tunnel at speeds of up to 50mph as the A19 is transformed into a race track.

Dubbed the fastest wheelchair race on the planet, the 2015 Tyne Tunnel 2K International Wheelchair Race will be taking place at 9pm on Friday.

The race serves as an inspiration.

Jonathan Whitmore, of Nuance communications, who are sponsoring the event.

Setting off from the Jarrow entrance of Tyne Tunnel one, 24 athletes from Canada, USA, Australia, and Europe will board their lightweight carbon-fibre and metal alloy racing machines, to face the challenge of the superfast 1km downhill track, which is followed by a shoulder-burning 1km uphill stretch.

Jonathan Whitmore, of Nuance Communications, who are sponsoring the event, said: “The Tyne Tunnel 2K race serves as an inspiration to anyone who is determined to win, determined to excel or determined to shatter their personal best, whether in competitive endeavour, at work or in any other aspect of their lives.

“The commitment, participation and focus of the Tyne Tunnel 2K race organisers and its competitors, shows a relentlessly positive ‘can do’ ethos, which is a mind-set every employer should look for in all future employees.”

Dave ‘The Weirwolf’ Weir powered to victory in last year’s race, which was the 13th to be held, beating defending champion Josh Cassidy, of Canada, into second place with a time of 4 minutes 2.5 seconds.

Starting the event, which will be closed to traffic, will be former British wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey Thomspon.

For more information about the race, visit www.tunnel2k.com.