AN AMMAN Valley man has signed up for the London Marathon for the charity Mencap, to help change attitudes towards learning disability.

Michael Beynon is hoping to become the first person with Down’s Syndrome from Wales to take on the virtual London marathon, which will take place on Sunday, October 4.

Michael will be running the race with support runner, mum Erika Beynon-Walker, in his local area finishing up at Mynydd Mawr Park in Tumble.

South Wales Guardian:

Changes to this year’s plans because of Covid-19 mean that runners will be running, jogging or walking a 26.2-miles route of their own choice over a period of 24 hours, rather than the original circuit past the capital’s monuments.

Only elite runners will be taking part in this year’s organised event through St. James’s Park in London.

Despite his family being warned by doctors that Michael was likely to need a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Michael, 24, who has Downs’ syndrome, a visual impairment and the muscle condition, hypotonia, has defeated all odds and can’t wait to take on the challenge.

Michael said: “It’s been my dream for six years to run the London Marathon. Mencap has supported me and my family over the last 20 years and I’d like to give something back to the charity so that they can continue supporting people with learning disability, like me.

“I’m looking forward to marathon day and have been doing lots of virtual challenges during lockdown to stay fit and motivated.

“I’m excited to run with Team Mencap, they will keep me going on the day. By running, I will achieve my dreams and by donating to Mencap, you can help other people with a learning disability achieve theirs.”

South Wales Guardian:

Having knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of physical activity, Michael’s mum Erika, who is also the CEO of local service Amman Valley Mencap, enrolled Michael in an athletics club at the age of four.

Since then Michael has represented Wales and Great Britain in the Special Olympics which has seen him win over 60 medals across a range of events, including shotput, boccia, long jump and track events such as 100m and 200m.

To support Michael, visit:

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want and also campaigns to change laws, improve services and challenge negative attitudes towards people with a learning disability.

 Mencap’s ‘Here I Am’ campaign aims to increase the visibility of people with a learning disability in the media and society.  

On Sunday Morning Michael will run the cycle path from Ammanford to Brynamman Between 7.30am and 11.30am and in the afternoon he will be at Mynydd Mawr Woodland Park, Tumble starting at 1.30pm – 5.30pm.

Michael Thanks his sponsors Morgan Marine, fellow Rotarian's from Llanelli, Parker Plant, family and friends for their support.