WHEN Ian Bennett tackled the Bournemouth half marathon in 1990 he had no idea he would be taking on the challenge in a wheelchair 28 years later.

Shortly after the first run Ian, who lives in Wimborne, became unwell and was eventually diagnosed with neurological condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP).

Walking gradually became more difficult over the years and Ian, who used to work for Cobham, now spends most of his time in a wheelchair.

He hopes to raise £1,000 for the Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, a charity which has helped overcome some of the difficulties he faces.

He said: “In 1990 I ran this half marathon in two hours and two minutes, so although it’s going to be tough, I’d like to get within an hour of that time so I’ve set myself a target of three hours and two minutes and I’m training hard to make it achievable.

“I now even have my own amazing, personal trainer. Five times Paralympian, Ann Wild, is training me online and also giving me nutritional advice. I could make it easy and borrow a racing wheelchair but I want to make it a real challenge so I’ve decided to use my everyday chair.”

Ian said the charity helped him at a point in his life when he really needed a lift and said he has met many amazing people.

“This is to say thanks to both the charity and all the individuals concerned, and to hopefully convince one or two others in similar circumstances that there’s nothing negative about a wheelchair” he added.

The Bournemouth half marathon will be held on Sunday October 7 as part of the weekend-long Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2018.

Anyone who wishes to support him can do so at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IANBENNETT