On 3rd September 2017, Sam Guilfoyle and his sister Amelia Guilfoyle Keogh lined up in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to take part in the Parallel London event, a fully accessible fun run designed for all abilities and ages.

Sam and Amelia had very personal reasons for supporting Aspire, a charity close to the hearts of the Guilfoyle family, as in 2010, Sam suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of 21, following complications from meningitis.  This happened just as Sam was about to start officer training at Sandhurst and it had a huge impact on his future plans and on the whole family.

Sam has first-hand experience of the practical support that Aspire provides as he lived in an adapted property on his discharge from hospital and so taking part in the 5k event was a great way to raise over £1000 for the charity!  Taking part in the Aspire event was a massive milestone for Sam as, although a competitive runner before, he had not taken part in any events since his injury.

Josh Lee, Sam Guilfoyle and Amelia Keogh

From L to R: Josh Lee, Samuel Guilfoyle and Amelia Guilfoyle Keogh

Sam said, “Parallel London was a really worthwhile day, there were plenty of stewards guiding the way to the start line.  Doing the race itself gave us all a real sense of achievement, there were plenty of spectators offering encouragement all along the route.  After the race, there was an opportunity to look round the exhibitors’ tents in the race village, there was lots of information on different products and services available to those with a wide range of disabilities, including an Aspire stand. Parallel London was a great opportunity to raise money for Aspire and to try something different.”  Next year Sam is aiming to take on the 10k.

If you would like to register your interest for the 2018 event, either the 100m, Super Sensory 1km, 1km, 5km, or 10km, please email alice.hanson-bray@aspire.org.uk