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‘I can’t run, but currently I can still walk’ – our Oxford 10k isn’t just for runners

Tristan Boedts, 27, has hiked to Everest Base Camp, done a year-long solo world trip, and walked the Oxford Half Marathon. He also has limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), a rare, progressive muscle wasting condition, which means he is expected to be in an electric wheelchair by the age of 30. On Sunday 12 May, he took part in the Bidwells Oxford 10k completing the course in just over an hour, walking and assisted by his wheelchair.

A man walking with a walking stick. He is smiling. There is a man next to him pushing a wheelchair.

I’ve had LGMD since birth, although it took 23 years to diagnose which muscular dystrophy. I try not to let it define me and I like to think I have a pretty positive outlook on life. Luckily, I’m surrounded by loads of friends at uni who see me as Tristan not ‘that guy with a disability’.

I’m proud of the things I’ve done, like hiking to Everest Base Camp, but I know the expectation is that I’ll be in an electric wheelchair by the age of 30 so the clock is ticking. I can’t run but currently I can still walk, which is why it’s important to me to get out and do things. That’s why I signed up for the Bidwells Oxford 10k.

Making a difference

Taking part in the Oxford 10k was a chance for me to make a difference and help raise awareness of my condition and the charity that supports people like me across the UK.

I’m currently studying an MSc in Consumer Behaviour and would like to be an academic, potentially focusing on policy or international relations. My positive outlook does sometimes get tested with the slow decline I experience with my condition, but I get support and have good friends around me.

“As long as I can make a difference and use brain over muscles in the future, I’ll be happy.”

I always knew I wouldn’t run the 10k and had been planning to walk the course, although I’ve struggling with some hip pain so decided to do a big part in my wheelchair with a friend who pushed me. What a fun day! It was awesome, although next time I should probably get a proper running wheelchair!

If you’ve been inspired by Tristan, you can find out about our upcoming events here.

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