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True grit: Hero Andy Reid inspires 10K runners by climbing North Road
Strength of character: Andy Reid’s utter determination as he powers up North Road is captured by Star photographer Dave Gillespie
ANDY Reid may have taken a tumble as he tackled the 10k but the St Helens hero made sure he came out on top in the battle of North Road.
The Afghanistan war veteran – who is a triple amputee – was taking part on specially designed blades.
His intention was to inspire anyone struggling to complete the gruelling course by looking to his strength of character.
It was an effort appreciated by the runners and spectators who gave him a rousing reception.
Andy, 37, had intended to complete the 2k course five times but as he powered past the 1k mark he admitted that he got “carried away” and carried on through the town centre and towards North Road, where he scaled the daunting hill.
He told the Star: “When I got to 1k I was going to turn around but there were a lot of people behind me cheering me on.
“I thought rather than walk against the number of people I would crack on. I got to the top of North Road and I was accidentally knocked over.
“I turned round and started walking back down North Road then fell over again at the bottom. I thought it was time to call it a day because I didn’t want to do any further damage.”
Nursing a few bumps and grazes, the 2012 ‘Pride of St Helens’, who is an ambassador for the Steve Prescott Foundation, said he would be “fine in a couple of days”.
The father-of-one, who now lives in Rainford, said: “It was easy to get carried away with the emotion of it all. I thought if I crack on some people will see me out there and keep going.
“In the end I had a bit of a tumble which was more embarrassing, but I’ll be OK.
Claire kept saying you have nothing to prove but she knows how determined and strong minded I am.”
Despite his stumble, Andy said he was overwhelmed with the support via social media: “Twitter and Facebook went mental. Especially the picture Claire posted of me up North Road. People seemed made up.
“That stretch took a lot out of me but people were giving me high-5s. I saw Steve’s brother Neil and his wife Linzi and I thought this is what it's all about."
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