Father Goes the Extra Mile to Help Save Daughter’s Sight
Running for eye research
On 17 May, Craig Heron, from Billericay, Essex, faced one of his toughest challenges, as he attempted to run 150 miles, all in the name of charity.
The 42-year-old father of two was due to complete his own version of the Grand Union Canal Run, from Birmingham to London, after failing to make the official race. Craig raised over £900 for Fight for Sight, the UK’s leading eye research charity and Alzheimer’s Society.
Craig was running for his 14-year-old daughter, Elise, who was diagnosed with Stargardt’s, an inherited eye disease, four years ago. The condition also affects Craig’s father and Craig was determined to support the vital research Fight for Sight funds into the condition.
His epic journey began at 3am and he aimed to run non-stop, until he crossed the finish line. Craig even added an extra five miles on to the original course, so he could complete the challenge at his work, in Southwark, 35 hours later.
Craig’s journey started well and he was running at a good pace, completing the first 23 miles in a little under 5 hours. He continued and ran from dawn to dusk with his challenge taking him through Coventry, Solihull, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes.
Running alone Craig’s journey was made even tougher, as he carried all of his supplies in a backpack weighing 13kg. After running the distance of three marathons back-to-back in 22 hours 19 minutes Craig was faced with an agonising knee injury, which meant he was forced to pull out of his challenge.
Extremely disappointed with not being able to complete the challenge Craig said: “It was an incredible challenge and it pushed my boundaries to the absolute limit. I was gutted not to have been able to cross the finish line but I’m still proud of running 75 miles. I’m determined to complete the challenge and I’ve already pledged to sign-up to the official race next year.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the challenge and please dig deep and donate to these two amazing charities.”
Catherine Woodhead, Director of Fundraising at Fight for Sight said: “We are extremely proud of Craig for going the extra mile to support us. It was such an ambitious challenge and to run 75 miles is an amazing achievement – well done! The money raised will support research into Stargardt’s to help create a future for Elise and others like her.”
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are delighted that Craig has given so much time to support Alzheimer’s Society. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this number is set to rise. We rely on the generosity of individuals like him to help us continue our vital work. Thank you Craig for helping Alzheimer's Society to continue leading the fight against dementia.”
You can still support Craig by donating via his JustGiving page or donate by texting GUMP57 (£amount up to £10) to 70070 to support Fight for Sight. He will also be raising funds for Alzheimer’s Society, to donate to them text FORE57.