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Meet Jack: the blind student taking on the London Marathon

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The London Marathon is a daunting task for anyone, never mind if you can’t see or have the responsibility of guiding a blind runner.

On 23rd April, whilst some 40,000 runners tackle the 26.2 miles through the streets of London, University of Birmingham students Jack Garner, Georgie Freeman and Lucy Cuckow will be right there in the thick of it. Their challenge however, is even greater as they form part of a much smaller number of blind or visually impaired runners and guides taking part.

They trio raising money for VICTA (Visually Impaired Children Taking Action), a charity that Jack has directly benefitted from and feels is fitting to give something back to after they helped him settle into university.

At the age of 11 Jack lost his vision but it is clear he has never let this stop him, from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to competing in triathlons Jack doesn’t shy away from a challenge.

Nonetheless the marathon will be a completely new experience with the ambitious aim of a sub four-hour clocking. It will also be Georgie and Lucy’s first marathon as well as their first time acting as guides but it’s a role they are both embracing with just the one fall in training coming due to a stray tree root!

As sports officer at the University, Georgie realises the importance of promoting disability in sport at a university level as this can be the first chance many have to try something new in sport. Jack has found the support he receives from the triathlon club amazingly enabling. 

Whilst Jack was initially concerned coming to the University since the club had no experience of a blind triathlete he was surprised by the clubs openness and enthusiasm in supporting him.

Having previous experience from his club at home, Lincsquad, Jack could advise and educate others on how they could work as a team and as a result Jack has competed in BUCS events for the University and is considered a “legend” amongst his teammates.

Whilst raising money for VICTA the trio also hope to encourage other students with disabilities wanting to try new sports to take the first step and talk to a club they are interested in as it is more than likely they would be thrilled to have you and who knows you too could end up taking part in a marathon!

If you would like to sponsor Georgie, Jack and Lucy's marathon efforts you can head to their Virgin Money Giving page HERE 

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