Dr. Julie McElroy from Glasgow, is taking part in the Glasgow Kiltwalk in April 2023 to raise money for Victoria Park Athletics Club which has charity status. She will embark on 22 miles on her specialist Frame Runner.
The Glasgow Kiltwalk takes place on Sunday, April 30, 2023, beginning at Glasgow Green and ending at Balloch, Loch Lomond. The Kiltwalk is Scotland’s largest mass participation walking event, attracting over 120,000 participants since 2016. The funds raised will be used by the Club to purchase a new Seated Throw chair for Para Throws. It is a sport for athletes who are unable to stand and/or have balance and stability issues that make throwing from an ambulant position difficult. Athletes in the seated throwing events use either their day chairs or custom-made throwing frames that are strapped to the ground.
Julie was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that restricts her mobility, speech, and hearing. A traumatic accident five years ago changed her life because she lost her functional ability to participate in sports and perform daily tasks.
Julie is looking forward to better times with a new horizon ahead of her as she recovers from the accident. Gordon Innes, who is qualified to coach athletes with disabilities in Frame Running and the seated throw, recently introduced her to Victoria Park Athletics, which is not far from where she lives and he has been an incredibly supportive coach.
Frame Running, previously known as ‘RaceRunning’ an athletic discipline for disabled athletes or ‘racerunners’. Athletes use a running bike, a three-wheeled frame with a saddle, body support and most notably, no pedals.
It is clear that Julie has the indomitable will to succeed in overcoming challenges in the face of adversity this time around again. Julie is doing the Kiltwalk on a new mission to experience a new sense of freedom with Frame Runner.
Julie said “It was a light bulb moment when I spoke to my good friend of sixteen years, Ken Hames. Ken is a former SAS Commander who, having spent twenty-five years in the army, has now become an expedition leader and specialist TV presenter. One of Ken’s more renowned TV programmes is called ‘Beyond Boundaries’. I have been fortunate to have a mentor like Ken over the years. It became evident that Ken saw my capabilities of determination, motivation and stubbornness to succeed in some of the world’s toughest environments along with supporting my teammates, which requires communication, empathy and respect. This is inclusive leadership in action”.
Julie said “Ken was one of the very few people to outreach to me when I was struggling with the impact of the injury. He saw the significance and how the impact of the accident changed me. Since taking up Frame Running, he has said why don’t you be innovative with your Frame Runner!”.
Julie is no stranger to getting involved in different initiatives over the years and the Kiltwalk is no exception. Julie’s Frame Runner has been key to keeping her mobile and pain-free. She trains down at Victoria Park Athletics Club, Scotstoun Stadium regularly.
On meeting Gordon, Julie said “I was apprehensive about returning to sports as the injury left me in chronic pain. I am indebted to Gordon for allowing me to participate in adaptive sports locally and train at the Club. It has certainly taken a type of individual like Gordon to harness my abilities against the challenges I have faced. It is no easy task!”.
The Glasgow Kiltwalk is certainly going to be an exhilarating experience and set Julie up for wherever she goes next on her Frame Running or sporting journey.