Harwich man left in wheelchair after motocross crash to face London Marathon

A MAN from Harwich who was left in a wheelchair following an accident during a motocross race will take part in the London Marathon.

Craig Manning, 38, who was a mechanic, had a keen interest in motorcycles. It was always his childhood dream to ride motocross.

In 2018, after rebuilding a bike, he entered the Farleigh Castle Vintage Motocross Race.

But on the second day of the event, Craig was involved in a life-changing accident that injured his spinal cord.

He said: “The accident was important, so I am told.

“I came out on a descent, the bike catapulted through the air and it landed on my back.

“I was airlifted to hospital in Bristol where they started putting me back together.”

The Harwich man left Craig Manning, right, will face the London MarathonCraig Manning, of Harwich. Photo: Wheel Power

After a long period in hospital, Craig was transferred to the National Spinal Injuries Center in Stoke Mandeville to continue his rehabilitation.

During his time at the Spine Unit, Craig met Michael Nixon, a 34-year-old man from Northamptonshire who suffered severe spinal cord damage after falling from the roof of a farmhouse.

The pair have become good friends and now aim to complete the 26.2 mile London Marathon together to raise money for WheelPower.

The charity helped with their rehabilitation with wheelchair skills sessions and support from physical activity counsellors.

Craig added: “I’ve come a long way in four years.

“The London Marathon has always been on the to-do list, so why let my new wheelchair-bound self prevent it from happening.

“I’m quietly confident of doing well and the goal is to push side by side all the way, smiles still intact, while raising lots of money for such a great cause.

“WheelPower’s work offers tremendous benefits to people like me with spinal cord injury.

“After such trauma, it’s hard enough to get out of bed on some days, so having their counselors and workouts to help me be more active was extremely important for my mental and physical health.”

About Frances R. Smith

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