Essex man completes first London Marathon for military charity
4 May 2016 16:01
A man from Essex completed the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.
Mark Waters, 42 and from Hornchurch, only started running in August last year but ran his first marathon last Sunday (24/4) in an incredible 4 hours and 8 minutes.
He says: "I was really looking forward to the race and I got brilliant support from the crowds and fellow runners."
Mark enjoyed running the scenic 26 mile route which took him through Greenwich, across Tower Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament.
He says: "The atmosphere was great, there were little pockets of parties along the course and kids ready to high five you.
"Around mile 16 my legs started give way and I found it difficult to complete it. After I reached the finish line I realised it's more about being able to complete it rather than the time you do it in but I am very pleased with my 4 hours and 8 minutes."
As Mark only started running eight months ago, it's a massive achievement to finish it in such a good time.
He says: "Friends and family supported me at different parts of the route which I found incredibly helpful and after I finished we had a little celebration back at my house.
"While it was a great experience I don't think I'll ever want to run a marathon again!"
So far Mark has raised more than £1,400 for Blind Veterans UK with his London Marathon adventure.
He says: "It was a lot of pain to go through but I'm happy I did it, especially for such a worthy charity as Blind Veterans UK."
Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) was founded in 1915 and the charity's initial purpose was to help and support soldiers, sailors and airmen blinded in World War I. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning World War II to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mark says: "It is pretty impressive what Blind Veterans UK do for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women. I know the money I raised by running the London Marathon will be put to good use."
If you feel inspired by Mark, why not run the London Marathon in 2017 for Blind Veterans UK? Please visitblindveterans.org.uk/londonmarathon for more information and to apply for one of the charity's places.
You can still support Mark after completing the London marathon in 4 hours and 8 minutes and help him raise more money for Blind Veterans UK. Please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/markdwaters.