North Yorkshire husband and wife to tackle 100k for Blind Veterans UK

3 March 2015 16:39

A husband and wife from North Yorkshire are set to tackle the Blind Veterans UK 100k London to Brighton challenge this June.

Mark Sullivan, 56 and from York, participated in the 100k challenge in 2014 without his wife Rachel. After having such a great time, Mark gave Rachel a special Christmas present; a starter place in the 100k 2015!

Rachel Sullivan, 46 years old, conquers a challenge each year. She used to be an ardent runner but after an accident which damaged her cartilage she couldn't run anymore. Instead she takes on different cycling and walking challenges.

Rachel says: "After my accident my sons and I were watching 'Walking with the Wounded' and they said if they can do it without sight or limbs then I can do it with missing cartilage.

"My husband does a Trailwalker and now the Blind Veterans UK 100k challenge each year and I've been wanting to do it. After hearing about how great it was for him last year, I'll finally be joining him on the start line."

Mark completed the Blind Veterans UK 100k London to Brighton challenge last year in 22 hours.

Mark says: "I started on my own but finished with a group of serving military personnel. The organisation was really good and the support from the volunteers was superb. I'm excited to do it again this year with my wife."

Mark joined the Army in 1976 and became part of the Intelligence Corps. While with the Army, Mark served in Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Germany and Bosnia. He left in 1998 after 22 years of service as a Warrant Officer Class I, which is the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer.

Mark then went on to become a lecturer at York's St John University, while he also joined the Army reserve, where he again was part of the Intelligence Corps until late last year.

Rachel says: "I'm keen to raise vital funds for such an amazing military charity. Most of my family have served in the Armed Forces and my one of my sons wants to join the Army as well."

Mark says: "I've seen for myself the amazing work that Blind Veterans UK does and the huge difference it makes in the lives of the thousands of veterans it supports."

Registration for the walk, 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.

Rachel says: "The veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK were forced out of their comfort zone after they lost their sight and had to come to terms and readjust to lead a normal life. They go on to tackle challenges like the 100k. If they can do it, so can you!"

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 sponsor Mark and Rachel as they tackle the 100k, please visit