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My London Marathon Quest for Guide Dogs

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Following several months of training (and lots of complaining!), I will be running the London Marathon on Sunday in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Training for the 26.2-mile event began in March and since then, I’ve trained 3-4 times a week, building up to an impressive distance of 20 miles. I’m told that the crowd’s support and the promise of a glass of fizz will carry me effortlessly for the final 6.2 miles!

I have supported Guide Dogs for the Blind for a number of years, and they are also a chosen charity this year for Feldon Dunsmore. As with a lot of charities, they have been hit hard throughout the pandemic, which has resulted in up to a 2-year delay for the availability of guide dogs for blind or partially sighted people. This is due to a shortage of service animals caused by the pandemic, when the breeding programme was paused and new puppies couldn’t be socialised in crowded places.

Quite timely, there was an interview on BBC Breakfast this morning with BBC Correspondent Sean Dilley, who has recently retired his guide dog Sammy, following more than 8 years of service. Sean may now have to wait for 2 years before getting a new guide dog, which has left him reliant on the use of a white stick (otherwise known as Michael Caine). In less than 2 months the stick has significant impact marks where Sean has walked into obstacles that Sammy would ordinarily guide him around, and with the increase in outdoor seating since the pandemic, the obstacles have increased. Listening to Sean’s podcast of his final walk with Sammy is tear jerking and a stark reality of the impact the pandemic has had on the blind community. His podcast can be found here

Knowing that we can make a difference to people with sight loss, coupled with our love of dogs, makes it such a worthwhile cause for us to support.

I am getting close to hitting my £2,000 fundraising target, however I have a little way to go before I smash it! If you are therefore able to help me to achieve my target, any support you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Any words of wisdom and encouragement from seasoned marathon runners would also be appreciated!

For the next 48 hours I shall do my very best to relax, enjoy the carb loading and look forward to the champagne and puppy cuddles at the finish line!