He has a rare genetic sight condition called Stargardt disease, which means he has no central vision (he can only see peripherally). As well as a Paralympic bronze medal from London 2012, he also has a couple of marathons under his belt already. Here he tells us his fundraising story, and shares some tips for anyone else considering running for charity.
I was very interested in Sightsavers’ work across the world and I’m excited to play whatever role I can to support the hard work being done by all staff and volunteers. Dealing with blindness even in a developed country can be tough, and having lived through this myself in relatively comfortable surroundings with fantastic support from similar local charities I was inspired by those who were dealing with this in less privileged situations and wanted to support in any way possible.
I ran London in 2014, a week after completing my very first marathon in my home town of Brighton, so was still recovering from that effort, which made it harder I think. However, the support and the atmosphere around the whole course was incredible. I remember it being a painful experience – I really had to dig deep and push myself, but the sense of achievement was amazing and worth the effort.
I really enjoyed running in my home town – I love Brighton and it felt great to be a part of such an incredibly successful up-and-coming event in such a fantastic city. I found the bit out towards the old power station really difficult as the crowd was much thinner out that side. I was starting to really struggle. But it got really good towards the finish line with the support from everyone along the seafront.
I haven’t done either! I wasn’t required to run much as a judoku, but I’ve always had a good aerobic fitness and always enjoyed running in the right surroundings – I used to run over the South Downs for hours with one of my good friends, Matt Barton, who will be a guide for me next year. As my sight has deteriorated it has become harder to run alone. Now I have children, so finding the time is hard. I really need to dust off my trainers and find somewhere to go!