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Richard Whitehead

We are pleased to announce that Paralympic athlete Richard Whitehead has been re-appointed as a bp ambassador through to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, now being held in 2021‎. Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and Paralympian Stef Reid were previous bp ambassadors

It’s not easy to define Richard. He’s not only a world record holder in full and half marathons but he’s also one of the world’s best sprinters – and the current Paralympic, World and European Champion in the T42 200m. Many people say Richard is an inspiration. Richard says that he’s simply an athlete, who has been given the opportunity to run.


As a congenital amputee, life is full of challenges, but that’s never got in Richard's way. Since his first marathon in 2004, he has run more than 20 marathons, not to mention competing at the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games in sledge hockey. In 2009, he became the first leg amputee (single or double) to break the three hour mark for a marathon, a world record he has now lowered to 2 hours, 42.54 minutes. He also broke the half marathon world record with an incredible run of 1 hour, 14.14 minutes.


Richard won Gold in the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the T42 200m with an astonishing race. He was second last after the first 100m but then with an incredible burst of speed, surged through the field to become the Paralympic Champion.


He successfully defended his T42 2011 200m world championship title in 2013 and then again at Doha 2015, breaking his own world record with a new time of 24.10 seconds. Richard won a fourth consecutive world title in 2017, while at the 2018 Berlin World Parathletics European Championships he won  gold in the T42 200m.


At Rio 2016, Richard successfully defended his Paralympic champion status, winning gold at the T42 200m and adding a silver medal at the T42 100m.


Most recently, Richard was Team GB captain – along with Kare Adenegan – in the 2019 World Para ‎Athletics Championships in Dubai and won silver in the T61 200m race.‎


But aspirations are bigger than just winning races. He wants to make a difference, to prove that even though he has a disability, he has overcome barriers that have been put in front of him.


In the summer of 2013 Richard successfully conquered a challenge to run 40 marathons in 40 days from John O’Groats to Land’s End. He ran a total of 977 miles raising funds for his two chosen charities Scope and Sarcoma UK.

Summary of Richard’s achievements:


  • 2019 Dubai World Para Athletics Championships Silver 200m (T61)‎
  • 2018 Berlin World Parathletics European Championships Gold 200m (T42)
  • 2017 IPC World Championships Gold 200m (T42) and Bronze 100m (T42)
  • 2016 Rio Paralympic Games Gold (T42) 200m and Silver (T42) 100m
  • 2015 IPC World Championships Gold and World Record 200m (T42) 24.10 seconds
  • 2013 IPC World Championships Gold 200m (T42)
  • 2013 Anniversary Games London Gold 200m (T42)
  • 2013 Ran Britain (John O’Groats to Lands End) for charities Sarcoma UK and Scope
  • 2012 London Paralympic Games Gold and World Record 200m (T42) 24.38 seconds
  • 2011 IPC World Championships Gold 200m (T42)
  • 2011 Paralympic World Cup Gold and World Record 400m (T42) 57.06 seconds
  • 2010 Chicago Marathon 2:42:52 (World Record)
  • 2010 Reading Half Marathon 1:14:59 (World Record)