Seven year old takes on half marathon in Derry

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A brave seven year old is set to complete his tenth half marathon of the year with ‘Team McClean’ after signing up for Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Waterside Half Marathon which takes place this Sunday.

Ethan McClean, assisted by his parents Andrew and Yvette McClean will take part his specially adapted Hoyt Assisted running chair.

And Ethan, who has the terminal illness Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is aiming to raise awareness of his condition and the charity close to his heart, Muscular Dystrophy UK.

His father Andrew said: “Ethan’s mum Yvette and I joined our local running club in Ballymena a number of years back and began taking part in half marathons four years ago.

“When we participated, raised awareness and funds for charities, Ethan was sitting at home as his mobility nor his normal wheelchair allowed him to take part in official running events. While taking part in another local half marathon a number of years ago we met a family whose child was using a specially adapted chair that was exactly what we needed. Despite being very expensive, we thankfully managed to raise funds and buy one. After only a few weeks of being out in the open air more often we’d noticed improvements to Ethan’s overall health.

“Since then (Feb 2016) he hasn’t stopped! A small band of helpers, who we call ‘Team McClean’ join Yvette on some of the race days helping to push him along the route to get Ethan over the finish line. He is such a brave little boy. His mother and I are inspired by him every day.

Entries are now closed for this year’s Waterside Half Marathon after full capacity was reached in record time. A limited number of spaces are still available for the less challenging 2k Family Fun Run. For further details, visit www.derrystrabane.com/halfmarathon.