Ex-Royal Navy veteran from Birmingham overcomes cancer to take on fitness challenges for Blind Veterans UK

17 October 2014 11:00

A Birmingham ex-Royal Navy veteran, who had a kidney removed after getting cancer, has completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon for Blind Veterans UK

53 year old Carl Payne, from Frankley, served for 26 years in the Royal Navy, including time in the Falklands. He left Service nine years ago, and now works in security at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Despite having a kidney removed due to cancer four years ago Carl completed the 13-mile Royal Parks course around some of London's iconic parks in 2 hours 31 minutes.

His achievement follows a fitness feat earlier this year when Carl completed the 100k challenge for Blind Veterans UK, when he walked from London to Brighton.

Carl says "I happened to see an advert for the Blind Veterans UK 100k, and the military connection struck a chord so I decided to challenge myself. I met some of the blind veterans on the 2014 100k and they gave me motivation. They just amazed me. People like that deserve everything they can get."

Carl adds "When I signed up to the half marathon, I wasn't a runner at all. I enjoyed the training, but I had never gone the full distance. When I started feeling sorry for myself at the 10 mile mark I passed the Blind Veterans UK stand where they were cheering us on and I reminded myself why I was doing it."

Reflecting on his kidney operation, Carl says "It has made me look at myself and realise that before the cancer I was probably quite selfish because I was a big drinker and I was lazy. Since then I hardly touch alcohol and I'm now a born-again gym addict. Now that I've started doing these challenges for Blind Veterans UK I've got a new lease of life.

"I've signed up to do the Blind Veterans UK 100k challenge in 2015. It gives me a chance to prove myself, and Blind Veterans UK is such a good cause."

To sponsor Carl please visit