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Simon Wheatcroft

Photograph of Simon running

Press Release from March 2012.

Simon is a blind runner who is taking part in the Sheffield Half Marathon in May for SRSB, but he has decided to add on a few more miles after the event has finished! The ‘Marathon Sandwich’ was an idea that came from a discussion between Simon and SRSB. The event involves him running the half (13.1 miles), continuing on to do a full marathon (26.2 miles)  and then another half (13.1 miles), to run a total of 52.4 miles! The halves are the bread and the full is the filling! After the Sheffield Half Marathon, he will run back from Don Valley to Endcliffe

Park in Sheffield where he will finish the distance by running laps of the park.

You may be thinking that this is a huge challenge, but it is merely training for Simon who is an ultramarathoner. Ultramarathons are long distance runs comprising of any distance above 26.2 miles.  Simon will be competing in multiple ultra distances runs during the year including a 100 mile run along the South Downs.

He is doing the ‘Marathon Sandwich’ to raise awareness about visual impairment and to raise funds for SRSB, and is inviting members of the public to join him on the day. You can either take part in the Half Marathon or run with Simon in Endcliffe Park in the afternoon of Sunday 27th May.

Simon was first registered blind when he was 17 and he lost his vision through a genetic disorder, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which affects his peripheral vision, central vision, colour definition, light perception, causes night blindness and eventually total blindness. He has been determined to challenge himself and believes that his confidence has been improved by his running achievements. Simon says, “I wanted to push myself mentally and physically and thought that ultra distance would suit that nicely.”

“While I never set out with the initial thought of inspiring others, as time has passed I have been contacted by a number of blind people who found my story inspirational. I hope now I can continue to inspire others to adapt and achieve any goal they believe they can.”

Simon has also attracted interest from other sources; ASICS have produced a TV commercial featuring Simon for their new advertising campaign http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnIhICP5PJk%20

He has been training alone outdoors and after spending several months memorising a 4-mile route, he now spends countless hours each week racking up the distance to achieve his lofty goals. He also runs with guide runners at the events who assist by running alongside him to point out any obstacles. 

Jane Furness from SRSB says “As soon as we met Simon we knew that he was a truly inspirational person, like so many that we meet every day at SRSB. He is studying at the University at the same time as training for these huge distances and is a great role model who shows that adapting to deal with your sight loss can lead to achieving many goals. We are looking forward to working with him and urge people to join us at Endcliffe Park where they can take part to raise sponsorship for SRSB and have a fun afternoon out” 

For further information about Simon please visit his own website http://www.andadapt.com

If you would like to be part of the ‘Marathon Sandwich’ please contact SRSB who will supply a supporter pack. Tel: 0114 272 2757, email fundraising@srsb.org.uk

 

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