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Granthamian Dan prepares for wheelie tough mudder and Tokyo 2020

By Judith Hawkins

Handcyclist Dan Metcalfe-Hall.
Handcyclist Dan Metcalfe-Hall.

If scaling 10ft walls, wading through freezing water, and battling against electric shock wires wasn’t difficult enough, try doing it in a wheelchair.

That’s the challenge 27-year-old Dan Metcalfe-Hall has set himself, by signing up to the extreme Tough Mudder obstacle course, taking place for the first time this May in the grounds of Belvoir Castle.

An example of the kind of challenges Tough Mudder participants face.
An example of the kind of challenges Tough Mudder participants face.

“It’s probably a stupid idea,” said Dan, “But I can’t wait.” He has roped in friends and family to take part in the epic challenge alongside him, as well as to help him prepare a ‘tank-style’ wheelchair to help him traverse the uneven terrain of the course.

However, the determined Granthamian knows that even installing the most cross country friendly wheels won’t help him when he faces having to get up and down five foot mud mounds.

“I’m not actually the first person to do Tough Mudder in a wheelchair. Another lad did it in an electric wheelchair, but I think he had to go around a lot of the obstacles. And obviously he couldn’t go in the water. I want to do it all,” he said.

Anyone that knows Dan is already aware of his inherent determination. After he was paralysed in a motorcycling accident at Edenham in 2014, he raced though his rehabilitation at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, and soon decided that he wanted to continue cycling, although this time as competitive handcyclist.

He now has a busy training regime, including taking part in competitions both in the UK and abroad throughout the year, and can regularly be seen handcycling around the town.

Dan adds: “I get people who tell me that they have seen another guy in a handcycle out on the roads in Grantham, and then I have to say, ‘yes that was me!’”

Furthermore he has achieved his aim of setting up a disability sports club at Grantham Tennis Centre, where he helps to train others as well as benefit from the equipment himself.

He now races alongside some of the best handcyclists in the country, and is gearing up to take part in Tokyo 2020, his ultimate ambition.

No doubt he will also be setting his sights on a podium finish, having already won two golds and a silver at Stoke Mandeville’s Inter Spinal Unit Games last year.

Of course the next big challenge on the horizon will be conquering Tough Mudder, and Dan is keen to hear from anyone who wants to join his team, or help with the fund-raising.

The money raised will go towards the purchase of a top of the range hand bike, as well as helping to meet the costs of his ongoing training. Ideally he would like to work with any potential sponsors interested in backing him.

To contact Dan email danmetcalfehall@ntlworld.com or go to his Facebook page by searching for WheelsDan.


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