Oxford man to tackle London Marathon for military charity

1 April 2015 11:21

A man from Oxford is set to run the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Harry Harbord, 23 and from Summertown, is an active person and loves taking on challenges. He was inspired to run the London Marathon by his brother, who is also taking it on this year.

Harry says: "It seemed like a great opportunity to get involved in and help support the excellent work Blind Veterans UK do as opposed to just running a race."

Since Harry was a young boy he wanted to join the Army. Many of his family members have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. Unfortunately, due to a hereditary eye condition, which required an operation during his late teens, Harry could not join the Armed Forces.

Harry says: "My eye sight was not fantastic and I had an operation where silicone implants were placed in my eyes. I can only describe the improvement in my vision after my operation as going from a black and white TV to full HD.

"But, afterwards, it was devastating to learn that I couldn't serve in the Army. It had always been the only thing that I was sure that I really wanted to do."

Now he wants to raise funds for veterans who lost their sight either while serving or later in life. As someone who often had to rely on the support of others for day to day tasks his operation, he understands the struggles that people with impaired vision face.

Harry says: "My story is minor compared to the veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK. It means I am very aware of how it feels to be reliant on others and how this affects your independence, especially if you are very active. It means a lot to me to be able to help Blind Veterans UK and give veterans the support they deserve."

Now Harry is aiming to run the London Marathon in three hours for Blind Veterans UK.

Harry says: "I'm very competitive and I love running around. Now my focus is on raising as much money as possible and finishing before my brother!"

To find out more about Blind Veterans UK, please visit www.blindveterans.org.uk

To sponsor Harry as he takes on the London marathon, please visit www.justgiving.com/HarryH.