Blind veteran Andy Leitch from Aldershot will take on the 60km Surrey Hills 'Ultra' Challenge this September in aid of Blind Veterans UK.
Andy Leitch and his guide Joey, also from Aldershot, will run the 60km ‘Ultra’ race as part of this year’s Surrey Hills Challenge on 22 September 2019. While this is Andy’s first Ultra marathon, they both have plenty of running experience under their belts. After his discharge from the Army, where he served with the Royal Logistic Corps, he met Joey at a Blind Veterans UK event where she encouraged him to get back into running.
In 2017, Andy ran 100 miles every month in a momentous fundraising challenge which saw him clock up 1200 miles over the whole year. Since then, he has gone on to complete the equivalent of 63 marathons. Andy says: “I used to run with my squadron and regiment when I was in the Army so trail running isn’t a million miles away, but as this is going to be my first Ultra marathon it’s going to be a good test. It’s not just about raising money, it’s about raising awareness and getting people to come forward and say, I was a veteran and I need support.
“Joey is an incredible lady – she’s completed a number of fundraising challenges, including the notoriously tough Marathon des Sables, and has raised a lot for the charity while doing so. She’s confident we’ll get it done within the 12 hour goal. The only thing which worries us a little is the 2000 metre climb at the Devil’s Punchbowl.”
Andy receives much support from a group of family and friends dubbed ‘Andy’s Angels’. He says:
"My family do think I’m mad but they are also super proud of what we’ve achieved. The support they give is so important in completing these challenges.""