Blackpool's Shelly Woods ready for Commonwealth Games challenge

Blackpool wheelchair racer Shelly Woods is ready to face a new challenge at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham tomorrow morning.

By Andy Moore
Friday, 29th July 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 2:29 pm

The specially-designed marathon course, which starts in the city centre and finishes outside the town hall, will be a new experience for Team GB athlete Woods and all her fellow competitors.

The triple Paralympic medallist told The Gazette: “It looks a tough course and it will be a challenge, quite hilly and technical.”

Temperatures could reach 24 degrees in Birmingham tomorrow, so Woods welcomes an early start.

Shelly Woods is in Commonwealth Games action

“Our race goes off at 7am, so it will be cooler but could still reach around 20,” added the 36-year-old.

She completes her preparations at the Games Village in the city today, having previously spent a week with the England team at a holding camp in Loughborough.

“Preparations have been okay and I can’t grumble,” added Woods.

“I haven’t had many race opportunities recently, so it’s hard to gauge where you are.

“I go without expectations really but I want to compete, do my best and see where that takes me.”

Woods’ last marathon was in Boston in April and she has since contested the Great Manchester Run, but whatever happens tomorrow the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde racer is delighted to be competing in a UK Games.

“I haven’t had many chances to race at the Commonwealths,” she adds.

“It’s eight years since I did Glasgow and I missed the last one on the Gold Coast (during a three-year break from the sport to raise son Leo).

“There’s a lot of excitement around the country about a home Games and I’m really pleased to be involved.”