Tag Archives: Karen Darke


“..og snipp, snapp, snute, så var eventyret ute.”

They are the words you would use to finish off a fairy tale in Norwegian, and which is what the Paralympics 2012 has been!

Last Friday I went to see Karen Darke compete in the handcycling roadrace at Brands Hatch. A team of 4 from Riverside Creatives, who all worked on the Karen Darke project for the Back Up Trust back in November, went to show her our support.

Karen had a good start and kept up with the leading group for the first rounds. The 2 Americans upped their speed, and towards the last laps it was clear that 1st and 2nd place were called for. Karen was competing for bronze, and the only woman close enough to challenge her was her own training partner and team GB member Rachel Morris.

Every time Karen passed us we cheered her on as loud as we could! Urging her on to win another medal. But in the end Karen and Rachel showed us the true spirit of the game. After having raced all 6 laps within an arm’s distance they crossed the finishing line hand in hand, hoping to share the bronze medal. Unfortunately for them, Rachel’s wheel was fractionally ahead of Karen’s and the officials declared Rachel as number 3 and Karen got 4th place.

Thank you for showing us real sportsmanship Rachel & Karen! I don’t care what the officials say. Congratulations on your well deserved bronze – BOTH OF YOU!

Below are some photos from our day at Brands Hatch of both the women’s and the men’s roadrace. The men’s roadrace was won by Mark Rohan from Ireland, who seemed to have the noisiest and most colourful supporters of the day!


Photography: Marte Lundby Rekaa, MLR PHOTO
Riverside Creatives Team: Andy Paterson-Jones, Karen Toms & Jonathan Crane
Karen Darke: http://karendarke.com/bio
Back Up Trust:  http://www.backuptrust.org.uk/








Game Fever


The Olympics was a success and London is still buzzing from the excitement as Paralympics is at the starting block. And even I, with an interest in sports that would match a teetotaller’s interest in a drink, have enjoyed the spectacular ceremonies and checked the odd results…

Last year I went to Paris to photograph Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner, who is competing in both the Olympics and the Paralympics this year. The shoot was commissioned by Natalie Holland, a truly talented and inspiring artist. Natalie uses my photography in 2 ways; to explore poses with her live models before she starts painting, and to document the paintings once she has finished her masterpiece. You can read more about the artist and the near life size painting of Oscar Pistorius on Natalie’s website.


Karen Darke is another inspiring person I’m looking forward to watch compete. I’ve got tickets to see Karen on Friday this week in the handcycling roadrace. If you haven’t heard of her before make sure you catch up with her story and check out the photos I captured of her training in the Scottish highlands in November.

But the Games are about so much more than the sports. It’s the atmosphere, the dressing up, and not to mention the partying! I captured the Olympic Torch pass through my street in Southfields. I’ve never seen so many of my neighbours before! The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten commissioned me to photograph the colourful supporters, and not to mention the Olympic drinks served at Chinawhite for a jaw-dropping price of £2012 per cocktail. I’ve posted a selection of the photos for you below.

What are you watching this Paralympics?


Photography: Marte Lundby Rekaa, MLR PHOTO
Painting ‘The Blade Runner’: Natalie Holland, www.natalie-holland.com
Karen Darke & the Back Up Trust: http://karendarke.com/ & http://www.backuptrust.org.uk/Home
Aftenposten: http://www.aftenposten.no/
Chinawhite, The Last Lap: http://www.thelastlap.co.uk/











Go Team GB!

The Olympics is almost here, and I had an amazing opportunity back in November to photograph one of our Paralympic athletes, Karen Darke.

Karen was paralysed from her chest down when she was 21 in a rock climbing accident. Now she is going for gold handcycling in London 2012. But if that’s not enough, she is also planning to become the first person too sit-ski to the South Pole in 2013 to raise £1 million for the Back Up Trust. 

The Back Up Trust help people like Karen with spinal cord injuries teaching them wheelchair skills, running mentoring programs and effectively changing their life forever. Along with BNI Putney I’ve been fund raising, selling raffle tickets and racing dragon boats for the last 5 years to support them.

Riverside Creatives is a group formed by a few members of BNI Putney offering various creative services, and together we took on this project to tell Karen’s story for The Back Up Trust. The team consisted of Andy Paterson-Jones of New England (art direction and design), Karen Toms of Tyrell Marketing (strategy), Jonathan Crane from Perpetual Films (videography) and me MLR PHOTO (photography).

Jonathan and his crew had been up to Inverness the week before and produced this compelling video ‘The Karen Darke Story’, so the pressure was on to create something equally good! Unfortunately the weather changed dramatically and we started off the day wet, cold and dark. Thankfully, the horrible weather was soon forgotten when the beautiful scenery of the highlands opened up before us and Karen got into highgear. What a kick! Karen whizzed past grazing cows, bleating sheep and foggy lochs. Even in the car, we struggled to keep up with her!

Meeting Karen makes me realise that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. The obstacles are in your mind, not in your body. I can’t wait to see her compete this autumn, and I’ll definitely be there to cheer her on.

Go Karen!

Help Karen Darke raise £1 million for the Back Up Trust

To book Marte send her an e-mail or call 02073867078.


Athlete: Karen Darke
Charity: The Back Up Trust
Strategy: Karen Toms, Tyrrell Marketing
Video: Jonathan Crane, Perpetual Films
Art Direction, Design and Behind the scenes photography: Andy Paterson-Jones, NEW ENGLAND
Photography of the magazine Transform: Karla Simpson, MLR PHOTO
Photography of Karen Darke: Marte Lundby Rekaa, MLR PHOTO