“I’m a visually impaired runner. I only started running in 2018. I run with the help of a guide and, right from the start, I completely fell in love with running and I also love a challenge. I went from couch to marathon in 12 months so that I could run the London Marathon with my guide runner Corin where we raised enough money to sponsor a guide dog.
TR24 would have been my biggest challenge to date. I had signed up for the solo, but only having limited sight in my left eye, I knew I couldn’t do it alone. Luckily a wonderful friend Becky offered to guide me and the brilliant TR24 organisers agreed - we were all set – or so we thought! And then wham!! Life threw me another curve ball! Sadly, on 5th Feb this year after being unwell since Christmas, I was diagnosed with a really aggressive form of breast cancer and have been undergoing chemo ever since. Even with cancer, and all the treatment that entails, I was still determined to participate in TR24, but then came Covid-19 and shielding!
Thankfully VR24 was announced and I was so relieved. Participating in that event and having to stay active for it really gave me something tangible to focus on. As I had to now shield I couldn’t run outside, nor could I run with a guide runner. Luckily, I have a treadmill at home and so, on my good days, I set about walking as much as I possibly could on the mill (I call him Terry the Treadmill). I was also really fortunate that a number of my running buddies and guides offered to connect with me virtually via various platforms, so that when they exercised outside I got on the mill and we chatted – it made the training fly.
To make the training even more fun we often dressed in fancy dress too, we’ve had nuns on the run, 80’s, superheroes, flamingo’s, fruit hats, divers helmets, wigs, cowboys and Indians and even 118 costumes. It certainly made it fun. To help focus my training even more for VR24 I also took part in the 2.6 challenge for the RNIB. I’d originally planned to walk a marathon distance on the treadmill between chemo cycles 4 and 5 (19 days) whilst virtually connected to friends. But I ended up doing over double that distance and raising lots of money too!