South London woman to tackle 100k for military charity

1 April 2015 11:09

A vision-impaired woman from South London will walk 100k for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.

Marvel Opara, 50 and from Putney, loves a good challenge and decided to sign up for the Blind Veterans UK 100k London to Brighton challenge.

Marvel tries to do a sporting challenge each year. Next year she is planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and she feels the Blind Veterans UK 100k challenge is a good way to get fit.

She says: "I'm one of those crazy people who just loves to be busy and take on new things. Together with my friend Lynette I decided to this challenge and she will be guiding me on the day."

Marvel lost her sight when she was a young girl in an accident and has been registered blind ever since.

She says: "I can relate to blind veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK but it must be even harder for them. To serve your country and then come back to normality and the mundane must be difficult, but then also to lose your sight must be overwhelming.

"Blind Veterans UK does an amazing work in supporting veterans blinded either in combat or who lose their sight later in life."

Marvel only signed up recently and reality is settling in. She is planning many training walks to make sure she's ready for the 100k in June.

She says: "The toughest part of the walk will be walking in the dark though I'll make sure I'm prepared for that. I'm hoping I get to train with some people in my area though - walking together with someone is always lovely."

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 50k or £75 for the 100k. 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.

Marvel says: "I'm really looking forward to it and I know I'll just need to take it one step at a time."

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