Never say never again for Flintshire man taking on 100k walk for military charity

3 March 2015 17:41

A man from Flintshire who said “never again” after he finished the Blind Veterans UK 100k London to Brighton walk in 2014 is set to tackle the same challenge for the military charity again this year.

Ian Venner, 49 and from Hope, did not plan to sign up again after completing Blind Veterans UK's 100k walk in 24.5 hours last year. However, his circumstances changed and after Ian suffered from a brain haemorrhage that went unnoticed for two weeks. He decided to set himself a goal to work toward to - the Blind Veterans UK 100k London to Brighton challenge.

Ian says: "I found the Blind Veterans UK in 2014 a gruelling exercise. I hurt my knee around 65 km and was determined to finish it so limped my way across the finish line. I said I would never do it again, yet here I am - training for the Blind Veterans UK 100k in its centenary year."

In July 2014 Ian suffered from a brain haemorrhage but he did not realise it at the time despite suffering many of the symptoms. It was only two weeks later Ian went to his GP after he noticed loss of strength and feeling in his hand and arm and after tests he was told what had happened.

Ian says: "It wasn't easy and it had quite the impact on me, particularly my memory. I wanted to focus on feeling better and take on another challenge. This year I would like to finish the 100k in sub 20 hours."

Ian has friends who are either serving or have served in the Armed Forces and felt Blind Veterans UK is a worthy cause to fundraise for.

Ian says: "Blind Veterans UK does some much good work with Armed Forces men and women blinded in combat, or who become blind later in life.  They served our country so we can be free, it's the least we can do to ensure they are looked after once they return.

"Last year I met some veterans support by Blind Veterans UK during the 100k and found them incredibly inspiring."

Registration for the 100k, which will kick off in Putney on Saturday 6th June, is currently open with a registration fee of £50 per participant for the 50km or £75 for the 100km. Teams taking part in the relay have a registration fee of £120. The all-inclusive entrance fee for participants includes hot food at three rest stops, snacks and refreshments along the route and a free event t-shirt.

The event is Blind Veterans UK's biggest annual fundraiser and takes walkers from a starting point in south London, along the banks of the Thames, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs to the charity's centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.

Ian says: "The 100k is a great challenge for a worthy cause. Any objections you might have are only temporary and you will forget after the sense of achievement when you finish it."

Blind Veterans UK needs 500 people to take part in the 100k, which will help the charity to continue to provide a lifetime's practical and emotional support to over 4,000 veterans, regardless of when they served and how they lost their sight.

To find out more about Blind Veterans UK's 100k challenge, and to sign up for the event, visit

To support Ian as he tackles the Blind Veterans UK 100k London to Brighton challenge, please visit or visit to follow Ian's training schedule and for tips on how to complete a 100k walk.