Norfolk ex-soldier to beat half marathon personal best for military charity

1 October 2015 11:00

A local ex-Serviceman from Kent is set to run the Royal Parks Foundation half marathon this October for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Fundraiser Ges Laker in blind veterans running vest
Ges Laker
Ges Laker, 59 and from Ashford, has been fundraising for Blind Veterans UK since 1986 and decided to tackle a half marathon in his latest efforts to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity.

Ges first heard about Blind Veterans UK whilst serving in the Royal Navy. He joined the Navy in 1971 and worked as a physical training instructor until 1991. Ges served on several ships including HMS Phoebe, HMS Antelope and HMS Boxer. It was whilst he was serving in the Fleet Air Arm Field Gun Crew Ges first came into contact with the charity.

Ges says: "Blind Veterans UK is the chosen charity for the Fleet Air Arm Field Gun Crew and it's how I first started fundraising for the charity. I kept fundraising for them even after I left the Navy.

"My biggest challenge was five years ago when I walked along the whole coast of the UK, which is some 6500 miles. I completed it in little over a year and in the end I raised £30 000 for Blind Veterans UK"

Although not as far, the half marathon will still be a challenge to Ges.

Ges says: "The Royal Parks Foundation half marathon is three days after my 60th birthday and I'm a little worried about how my knees will be holding up. However, I am very much looking forward to it and am training several times a week."

Blind Veterans UK still has guaranteed places available for the Royal Parks half marathon, which will take place on 11 October 2015. In return, Blind Veterans UK asks you to pay a registration fee of £30 and pledge to raise £300 in sponsorship.

If you secured a place through the ballot, Blind Veterans UK would love you to join its team. All runners receive a free exclusive Blind Veterans UK running vest to wear on the day.

Ges says: "Over the years I've met quite a few of the veterans supported by the charity who fought in the Second World War or the Falklands and their strength and determination is inspiring. As an ex-Navy man I'm happy to give back to a military charity."

To support Ges as he tackles the Royal Parks Foundation half marathon for Blind Veterans UK, please visit