The story so far.
The idea behind trailblazer came on a day when one of our founders and Director of Able2Adventure, Gemma Hendry, was out riding the forest trails on her bike around Rothiemurcus and Glenmore. Her knowledge and experience of working as an adaptive outdoor instructor led her to realise that these trails were fantastic for off-road wheelchair users, and adventurous ones in their everyday chairs!
She saw the potential in these routes and gathered Lynsey Humes, Gordon McGregor and Laura May to share the idea of creating the UK's first-ever wheelchair adventure race. We all jumped on board with enthusiasm, planning routes and ways in which we could hold the race.
As a team, we all hold unique yet valuable knowledge in adventure and expedition racing, accessible outdoor adventure as well as designing and manufacturing off-road wheelchairs. We are spread out between the Highlands, Lanarkshire, Manchester and wherever Lynsey's globe-trotting job gets her! Thanks to technology, we can work and meet remotely.
In the early summer of 2019, we explored the trails on bike, Mountain Trike and foot. We figured the perfect route for our race. In September, after postponing our original date due to realising we had much more work to do, we invited a few possible racers in handcycles, Mountain Trikes and their everyday chairs over to Glenmore to see what they thought of our ideas and trial the route. They loved it!
Following more planning, waiting for permission to confirm our route as the rare (but aggressive to wheels and people!) bird, Capercaillie nests on our route, we raised over £4000 through our crowdfunding campaign. This funding should not only allow our first wheelchair adventure race to be successful, but we want it to also lay the foundations for future adventure challenges and races. Our long term hope is to run different adventure races and challenges for a wide range of people with various impairments, not just wheelchair users!