The Fylde coast’s triple Paralympic medalist Shelly Woods is looking forward to becoming a mother next year but she has no plans to retire from wheelchair racing anytime soon.
St Annes-based Woods turned 30 this year, and she and husband Chris are expecting their first child in April, though Shelly remains hopeful of adding to her impressive tally of big-race successes.
The two-time London Marathon winner followed her silver (1500m) and bronze (5000m) for Great Britain at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 with another bronze in the marathon at London 2012 in the T54 category.
Woods did not compete at this year’s Rio Paralympics but revealed she is missing racing and has already set more goals.
She is aiming to represent her country again at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018.
Woods, a seven-time winner of the Great North Run on Tyneside, said: “I’m just over halfway through (my pregnancy) and I’m due in early April.
“It is exciting, a new adventure, and it is good.
“I certainly hope I can carry on racing.
“You never know what will happen or how quickly you can get back.
“I have been missing it, though . I have been trying to keep fit but I have not been in my racing chair for five months.
“I suppose that if I didn’t miss it I’d have thought it was time to do something else.
“But there are still some things I want to achieve. I don’t know when my first race will be.
“But as soon as I am able to start competing again I will and I do still have some goals in racing.
“There is the Commonwealth Games in early spring 2018.
“If that happens for me, great; but if I have to move the goalposts, I will.
“I really enjoy the racing and the big city marathons, and another goal of mine is to get back into the top tier of marathons.
“I’m always motivated by times and medals.
“I’m incredibly proud of what I have achieved but I am not ready to retire yet.
“I’m sure it will be more challenging with a child but it is a new adventure and an exciting news,
“I’m really looking forward to what the future brings.”