The event, which will take place on 9 August in Windsor and is supported by Barclays, invites disabled participants as well as their friends and families to either complete the entire race or to sign up as a relay team in order to “enable as many people as possible to take part for the first time”.
It will be supported by a print and social campaign, from Clinic, which features both professional and amateur athletes alongside headlines such as “Guts essential. Legs optional” in an effort to boost awareness and participation at the “grassroots level” in the build up to Rio 2016.
The move comes after the announcement last week that the next Invictus Games, a competition for injured servicemen, women and veterans which was hosted for the first time in London last year, will be held again in the US in 2016.
Warner told Marketing Week that Para Tri is an effort to change the fact that there is nowhere for disabled athletes to go to compete “on their own platform” in the UK.
“I’ve been in the sport for 16 years and I’ve been heavily involved at a high level,” she said. “Now I want to continue but not at an elite level, but there’s nowhere to go.”
It is also an effort to make disabled events as inclusive as other sporting events, according to Warner.
“If you look at events like Tough Mudder, it’s not about being elite or perfect. It’s about taking part, being gutsy, having fun and camaraderie. I wanted to create the same thing.”
Zoë Anderson, account director at Clinic, added: “It was important the headlines we used across the campaign were as hard-hitting as they would be for any other sporting event, not patronising or tokenistic.”
In order to further promote the “fun factor” of the event, the team has also kicked off a #onehandedchallenge on social media asking people to post films of their attempts to complete simple event-related tasks, such as putting on goggles or a swimming cap, using only one hand.
“We’re trying to show people how difficult certain elements of sport are for people with disabilities,” Warner said. “The challenges are not what you’d think they are.”
She added that the team will continue the challenge next year when it hosts four more events including a Para Swim and a Para Run.
Warner hopes to create a network of disabled athletes as more people get on board.
“There is no database for people who do sport with disability, so this is a brand new product,” she said.
She added that Barclays has helped drive awareness of the event.
“They do a lot for people who are visually impaired, so I went to them and asked them to partner me on the event,” she said. “They are driving accessibility in such a big way.”