21st Oct, 2016

Mark gets his running shoes on for Guide Dogs

Shaun Reynolds 11th Aug, 2015 Updated: 4 hours ago

A MAN from Solihull will be running over 13 miles in the Morrisons sponsored Great Birmingham run to raise money for the Guide Dogs.

Mark Sanders, who is 38, suffers from a genetic form of macular degeneration – which has caused a gradual loss of vision.

Mark will complete the challenge with his close friend Andy, who will be guide-running the half marathon alongside him.

The decision to raise funds for the guide dogs took inspiration from when Mark received Lilibet – a black Labrador – in April 2015.

Lilibet has greatly improved Mark’s mobility, mental state and quality of life.

Mark said: “After Andy completed the run last year, he challenged me to take part with him this year – considering I’d never run before it was a challenge.

“I just want to say thanks to the club for guide-running me and for all their support and of course thanks to Andy for all his help and encouragement.

“Hopefully we can do it in a decent time.”

The two friends experienced guide-running together for the first time on July 4 when they ran a 10k together around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London – they completed the run in under an hour.

Mark trains regularly with Knowle and Dorridge Running Club and participates in guide-running every week.

While Mark has little running experience, Andy has taken part in total of four marathons, as well as several shorter running events.

Andy said: “I chose to raise money for Guide Dogs last year because of Marks plight to get his own guide dog and I really wanted to support him and the charity.

“He’s truly an inspiration to me and I’m really glad we will be taking part in this run together.”

Mark and Andy are hoping to raise in excess of £1,000 for the charity.

To donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Mark-SANDERS2