An inspirational family from Anahilt will be among hundreds of competitors taking part in the O’Neills Walled City Marathon in Londonderry on Sunday June 2.
Known as Team Kerr, David and Sandra Kerr push their 21-year-old son Aaron in his custom built wheelchair, and the assisted running trio have completed almost 40 marathons.
Aaron has complex needs but that has not held back the family. “This will be our fourth Walled City Marathon and if all goes to plan, it will be our 37th marathon in total,” explained David Kerr, who donated a kidney to his son in 2010. “The Walled City Marathon will always have a special place in our hearts as it was our very first marathon back in 2015. The support we receive all around the route is fantastic, as well as the welcome and hospitality from the event organisers each and every time.”
Team Kerr’s aim is for assisted running, which accommodates people with disabilities, to become a regular feature in road races around the country. They have also set up Aaron’s Army, a registered charity, which raises money for running chairs for other families facing similar challenges.
David Kerr said his son also loves the regular training they put in before each marathon, regardless of the elements. “Getting out on the road is Aaron’s main social outlet. He can find it difficult to express his feelings and is at his happiest with the wind in his hair and the sun on his face. We are a closely-knit team and the three of us train together. We don’t try to break any records, our aim is to get from start to finish. We’re not Usain Bolt but we start and finish as a family.
“We like to complete our marathons in around five-six hours. There is a lot of people still on the course at that stage and we know that we will have plenty of support right up to the finish line.”