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Speight's Coast To Coast Entrants Tell Stories

Speight's Coast to Coast entrants tell their inspirational stories

Plans are in full swing for the 2008 Speight's Coast to Coast and there's no-one more ready to compete than Cantabrian, Graham O'Neill.

On 5 February 2005, while finishing the final leg of the Speights Coast to Coast cycle, Graham was the victim of a hit and run accident. He suffered severe injuries, including a broken back and serious stomach injuries and as a result spent 10 days in the Intensive Care Unit at Christchurch Hospital and six weeks at the Burwood Spinal Unit. After receiving specialist care Graham has made a full recovery and will be competing in the 2008 Speights Coast to Coast raising funds for Parafed Canterbury, an organisation that offers sport and recreational activities for people with physical disabilities.

"Recovery has been hard mentally and physically over the last two years but I feel I'm a better person for it," says Graham. "I know competing this year will be hard physically but I am looking forward to the challenge the Speight's Coast to Coast will give me."

Another notable entry in the 2008 Speight's Coast to Coast is Danielle Anderson of Auckland. In her own words, Danielle went from being "a couch potato to a multisporter in two and a half years." Weighing 97.5kgs, Danielle was diagnosed with high cholesterol when she was 25 years old. After deciding she needed to focus on creating a healthy lifestyle, Danielle set herself the ultimate goal - to compete in the 2008 Speight's Coast to Coast. Danielle now weighs 75kgs and "is ready to take on the biggest challenge of her life."

"I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone more times than I care to remember while training for the Speight's Coast to Coast," says Danielle. "It's certainly not an easy road to take for someone who couldn't run 500 metres, but I'm not going to give up. Entering the Speight's Coast to Coast has awakened in me a passion for health and fitness - I'm addicted!"

The Speight's Coast to Coast competitors will journey from Kumara Beach to Sumner on February 8th and 9th, 2008.


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