A GOLDEN star of the London Paralympics will compete in a unique race in South Tyneside.
David Weir, 34, nicknamed the ‘Weirwolf’, who won four gold medals at last year’s games, will take part in the Tyne Tunnel 2K Race on the evening of September 13.
Once top disabled athletes have raced one another through the northbound tunnel, a more public participation event called Velocity will be staged.
This will be a mass elimination, power sprint cycle race for more than 100 people, giving competitors the chance to race through the tunnel between Jarrow and Howdon in a series of drag-style races, with a grand finale at the end of the night.
Several qualifier events for Velocity have taken place throughout the region during the summer, with the final qualifier due to be held at the Intu Metrocentre in Gateshead on August 31.
Rachel Turnbull, chief executive officer of tunnel operators TT2, said: “Other than the Royal ceremony last year, Tunnel 2K is the only event we close a vehicle tunnel for.
“We are committed to supporting the race because we truly believe it changes the way people look at disability sports.
“The wheelchair race through the tunnel is very much about celebrating ability.
“It’s thrilling to watch and attracts the best in the sport.
“However, the race has always been hosted as a televised, closed invitation event.
“We have been looking at ways to open up the race to our local communities, and we decided that the exciting qualities of the Velocity spring race would complement the wheelchair race perfectly, showcasing just what people are capable of, whether able-bodied or not.”
Young people are being invited to design the official event T-shirt, and prizes include four VIP tickets to the event and a £100 high street gift voucher.
Children up to the age of 16 can submit entries via Instagram @tt2kvelocity, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting their entries to TT2kV, TT2 Limited, Tyne Tunnels 2, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, NE28 OPQ.
Any businesses wishing to sponsor the race should contact Velocity Street Racing or www.tunnel2kv.com.