Rock n' Rolling Running for Fight for Sight
Going the Distance for Eye Research
Alex Cole, 37, from Durham, will be rocking and rolling as he prepares to go the extra mile for Fight for Sight.
In fact Alex will clock up a total 43.5 race miles as he takes part in a series of runs. His first challenge starts on 28 May ending with the Great North Run on 11 September - where he will run the full 13.1 miles BLINDFOLDED.
Alex will run the Liverpool Rock n’ Roll 5k on 28 May, the Liverpool Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon and the Liverpool Rock n’ Roll fast mile on 29 May as a warm up. He will then race in the Durham Costal Half Marathon on 5 June. This gruelling yet scenic race is along Durham’s rugged and beautiful coastline and boasts numerous ascents and descents equivalent to the height of Durham Cathedral.
The final leg of his running journey will see him face the famous Great North Run on 11 September. He will be running totally blindfolded, something he’s rather anxious about. Thankfully he will have the support of Louise Large, from Hitchin, who is Alex’s seeing ‘guide runner’. Louise regularly guides blind runners and will ensure that Alex reaches the finish line safely.
Alex will be supporting the UK's main eye research charity, Fight for Sight, which funds research into the early detection, prevention, development of new treatments and ultimately finding a cure for many different eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Alex is running for his mum, Jane Cole, 70, was diagnosed with both forms of AMD (dry and wet) in 2009. She is under the care of the team at Sunderland Eye Infirmary and has been receiving intraocular injections for the wet form.
Alex also works for PolyPhotonix, a pioneering health technology firm, who are developing light-based treatments for diabetic retinopathy and wet and dry AMD. Since 2015 Fight for Sight has been their chosen charity partner, and receives 5% of Polyphotonix’s proceeds from the Noctura 400 sleep mask. PolyPhotonix has kindly pledged £500 towards Alex’s fundraising.
Alex said: "Witnessing my mam slowly losing her sight and speaking to the patients through my work at PolyPhotonix – highlights the devastating impact sight loss can have on someone's life. The work we do is designed to help people living with diabetic retinopathy and I was keen to raise money for Fight for Sight to be able to support research into this and many more conditions."