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Claire overcomes visual impairment to raise money for her favourite charity!

Claire walking through a stream.I started to lose the sight in my left eye from a tumour and have had to relearn some of the things I used to love to do, including running and cycling. It has made me realise just how hard it is for those who have a visual impairment to get on with their day to day activities. I learnt about British Blind Sport when I signed up for the Leamington Regency 10K and thought I would love to raise money for a charity that helped people who have lost more sight than me. I started off by aiming to raise £150 through a range of sporting activities and started to train with a friend who ran on my right hand-side so that I knew where she was and I didn’t crash into her! Despite hating dirt, I signed up to Mud Runner. This was a 10k run with 58 really hard obstacles, and then I took on a timed road run; the Regency 10K in Leamington Spa, mentioned above. All this was building up to a half marathon in Stratford-upon-Avon, which was really hard to train for and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it both physically or mentally but knowing I had some sponsorship, I was determined to rise to the challenge and get through it.  Due to the fact there were thousands of people running the half marathon, it was difficult to run close to my running partner so I was anxious I would bump into a lot of people but I actually did really well, apologising along the way but people were so accommodating and nice, and I was extremely proud of my achievements.

Next, I am taking part in Race for Life for BBS later this year and plan to do Birmingham and/or Cardiff half marathons in the autumn. The running and the cycling really keep me going (and my two gorgeous daughters, of course!) as I come to terms with the slow loss of vision I have in my left eye. Exercise is a great thing to keep your spirits high and so I know how important it is for BBS to keep working with people whose world is dark and possibly lonely.  To date I have exceeded my fundraising target and raised over £400 and hope to continue to raise funds through my future challenges.