A former lifeguard who had his leg amputated following treatment for bone cancer will be racing on Tyneside this weekend as he continues his quest to compete in the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. Jake Woods has signed up for the TRY on the Tyne duathlon on Saturday 13 August, in the latest race of his first season as a paratriathlete.
Jake Woods worked as an RNLI lifeguard in South Tyneside and Sunderland until he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer in his right hip at the age of 27. Following extensive chemotherapy treatment, Jake had to have his right leg and pelvis amputated. Before his illness, he had regularly participated in triathlons and running and swimming events. Now, he has taken up the sport of paratriathlon and has already tasted success in his first season, claiming third in the British Paratriathlon Championships. Jake aims to build on this and has set his sights on representing Team GB in the Paralympic Games. He now lives in Glasgow, but is returning to the North East to take part in the duathlon at TRY on the Tyne at the weekend.
Jake Woods comments: “TRY on the Tyne is a perfect race practice opportunity on bike and racing chair in my first para triathlon season, and excellent preparation for the British Triathlon Grand Final in Sunderland the weekend after. After coming third at British Paratriathlon Championships earlier in the summer, the hard work is only just beginning and races like TRY on the Tyne will do a lot to build on this platform so early in my para-sport career, building towards future Paralympic Games in Paris and Los Angeles. The prospect of returning home and racing on roads I know along the quayside gives me goosebumps, and will be an emotional homecoming after a couple of less than ideal years.”
TRY on the Tyne is being organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council, with both councils supporting the event as part of a drive to encourage more people to get active through cycling and running. Hundreds of athletes of all ages have signed up for a series of junior and senior duathlons (run-bike-run races) and a 5k run, all on the morning of Saturday 13 August. Many of the participants will be raising money for the event’s official charity partner Red Sky Foundation. The event uses the Tyne and its bridges as a venue. Each race will involve a mass start and finish on Newcastle Quayside in front of Urban Garden, with the duathlon transition located on Baltic Square in Gateshead. The first race, a junior duathlon, will begin at 8:45am, with the senior duathletes and 5k runners setting.