Stewarts Law quadriplegic trainee takes London Marathon to court after race entry refused

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  • Good for you Matt. You are a very resilient young man and you should be proud of what you have achieved.

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  • Why is the London Marathon persistently being referred to as a competition, and the fairness or otherwise of Matt being allowed to enter being judged against that back drop...? Forget that Matt won the 2007 NY Marathon. What if, like many others, he just wanted to do the marathon for fun and to raise money for charity!? The man should be estopped from doing something fun and good just because he uses a motorised wheelchair!! Think of all that money someone as inspirational as him could raise!! This isn't the paralympics so get off your legal high horses, please. Go, Matt - I cannot believe how much criticism what you're doing has attracted. Blimey.

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  • We were all brought to this earth for a reason and have the ability to do whatever we want with our lives, in Matts case this includes the ability to participate in marathons. The fact that his wish to take part in the London Marathon 2014 is being frustrated by red tape is at odds with both the broader objectives of the London Marathon Charitable Trust and the stated goals of the founders of the present London Marathon, Chris Brasher and John Disley.

    Shortly after completing the New York Marathon in November 1979 Brasher wrote an article for The Observer with a view to fostering similar marathon spirit in London. The article began: "To believe this story you must believe that the human race be one joyous family, working together, laughing together, achieving the impossible." Matt has already inspired thousands by achieving the impossible in New York, the organisers of the London Marathon and its sponsors Virgin Money must allow Matt to the opportunity to do likewise.

    We are part of a profession committed to diversity in all it's forms, I do hope that the Law Society will fully support Matt in his efforts to correct this obvious injustice. Furthermore, I would suggest that anyone concerned by the refusal to allow Matt to compete in the event should highlight the matter in Twitter and other social media the hope that @richardbranson @Virgin & @VirginMoney will take note.

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  • Although I don't like the rise of litigation in society, I think Matt King is right to make a stand on this issue.

    The comments about using a Ferrari are absurd. He's not going up against the professional able bodied runners. He's just participating for the enjoyment of the occasion (much like you or I may do). He's not looking to win the prize money, just to use join in.

    Let him do that.

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  • He isn't a competitor, just someone who wants to take part and have fun.

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  • Henry K.R. Are you really a blind archer? I am sure you would know that a registered blind archer Im Dong-Hyun competed in the Olympics and scored a world record in the ranking rounds and a bronze team medal. Perhaps if he had no arms or legs then your analogy would hold true and only then if he was competing against the elite ranked runners.

    In reality most of the people huffing around in 5 hours or dressed as a big yellow duck are not doing it to achieve a ranking but as a public display of personal endurance. What the people bleating on here are really saying is that for Matt using a motorised chair is not hard enough compared to people using working legs and arms. Or they are saying he putting everyone to too much trouble and he should not be an inconvenience. That is exactly what the disability legislation is to stop, ie people with disability being told to keep out sight and stop being an inconvenience.

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  • Every event of this nature is governed by rules. In this case it would be IAAF, IPC & UK Athletics et al. Those rules are in place primarily in regard to the competitive aspects & to gain race licences from the governing bodies.

    It's clear that the entry of King into the Great North Run & New York Marathons, that these rules are not applicable as he is not competing in an official time trial or qualifying event or seeking to gain an advantage over other athletes against who he could be considered to be competing. This is key.

    If the rules are so rigid, how did Claire Lomas gain entry & be allowed to participate in the London Marathon?

    Every rule used to prevent King entering was ignored when Lomas was allowed entry.

    It does seem to me that this is not about rules, but a matter of London deciding they don't want him in the event & constantly dodging the issue until they are backed into a corner. That can be the only reason this has gone on so long & reached the point it has.

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