A Nottingham-based dispensing optician has run two marathons in two weekends, raising almost £5000 for Blind Veterans UK.
Kevin Wood, who works at King’s Wood Contact Lenses, completed the 26.2 mile routes of the Brighton and London marathons within eight days of each other.
Mr Wood has completed both marathons previously but, upping the ante this year, he opted to run both the Brighton and London marathons. He completed the courses in under three and a half hours, with official finish times of 3.26hrs and 3.27hrs respectively.
Speaking to OT about the challenge, Mr Wood said: “It was difficult, but it was for a very worthy cause. The London Marathon was certainly the harder of the two, but the atmosphere was amazing and that helped.”
Mr Wood began training in January and by March was clocking up in excess of 50 miles a week. “It took a lot of training and many early mornings but it was worth it in the end. Crossing the finish line was quite emotional,” he told OT.
Speaking about why he opted to run for Blind Veterans UK, Mr Wood said: “These veterans have lost their sight fighting for our country and this charity provides practical and emotional support to help get them back to normal life. I couldn’t think of a better cause to support.”
Director of fundraising at Blind Veterans UK, Andrew Jones, said: “We are always amazed by the challenges that people are willing to put themselves through to raise money for us, but running two marathons in one week is extra special.
“Blind Veterans UK is currently supporting more blind and vision-impaired veterans than ever before and the money will allow us to continue to provide ex-servicemen and women with free services and lifelong practical and emotional support. This will help blind veterans recover their independence and discover life beyond sight loss."
While Mr Wood may not take on the marathons next year, he certainly hasn’t ruled out further races in the future.
The feat also earned Mr Wood the Hayat Award, which commemorates Huddersfield optometrist Kamal Aftab, with Thea Pharmaceuticals donating £100 to Blind Veterans UK.
To date, Mr Wood has raised almost £5000 for the charity. To make a donation, visit Mr Wood’s JustGiving page.