Four-year old Carmela became a superhero for the day with help from a very special sidekick – comedian Adam Hills.
Carmela, who has L-CMD, took on a 3k cycle as part of the Celebrity Superhero Tri 2018 at Lake Dorney in Windsor.
On top of the endurance feat, she also charmed Clare Balding, who was covering the event for Channel 4.
Australian funnyman Adam Hills, who hosts the Last Leg talk show – also on Channel 4 – took on the running section of the triathlon, while Harri Popat, nine, tackled the swim.
The event, which was founded by Paralympian Sophia Warner, saw 2,500 people taking to the course, many dressed as superheroes.
Carmela’s mum Lucy, who helped her around the course, said: “It’s overwhelming. It’s such a huge event, and there’s a vast amount of different disabilities and equipment. It’s unbelievable. Carmela did a great job of the cycling, but it’s a long way for someone with such little legs so I did carry her on my shoulders for some of it!
“Adam Hills has been a brilliant teammate and is absolutely hilarious. He’s been really great with Carmela, making her laugh and keeping her going.”
Carmela’s dad Darren added: “She loved the cheering and the clapping. It’s been great to see her little smile as she was going round. You never know what the future holds with muscular dystrophy, but so far she’s proving everyone wrong.
“If anyone is thinking about taking part, I would say absolutely, do it. It’s been a fantastic day and Carmela has been really looking forward to it for weeks. She absolutely loves the medal and had a great time taking part in the race. She couldn’t wait to get going!
“She’s such an inspiration that she’s even made me determined to run the London Marathon for Muscular Dystrophy UK next year. If she can do this, then I have no excuse. She’s leading the way.”
Sophia Warner, who has cerebral palsy, said she created the the Superhero Series “to invite people with any kind of disability to go solo or unite with family and friends to take on unique challenges, with as much or as little time and support as they need.
“Gizmos and gadgets, from floats and boats to adaptive bikes and trikes, are positively encouraged on the course – as are masks, capes and pants over tights. The emphasis is very much on fun.”
Muscular Dystrophy UK are proud to have partnered with the Superhero Tri series, and have places available for next year’s triathlon, as well as the Winter Wonderwheels event, which is being held at Dorney Lake on December 2.
Participants can cycle, walk, run or push a friend around challenges ranging between 1km and 10km.