Former Paralympian talks blind running ahead of Great Hertfordshire AONB half marathon

PUBLISHED: 17:53 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:53 21 May 2019

Paralympian Simon Goodall is getting ready to take part in Garden House Hospice Care's Great Hertfordshire Area of Natural Beauty Marathon. Picture: Garden House Hospice Care

Paralympian Simon Goodall is getting ready to take part in Garden House Hospice Care's Great Hertfordshire Area of Natural Beauty Marathon. Picture: Garden House Hospice Care

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A former Paralympian who is registered as blind is getting ready to participate in the first Great Hertfordshire Area of Natural Beauty Marathon organised by Garden House Hospice Care.

Simon Goodall, who was part of the British goalball team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, will run the half marathon next month with the aim of raising money for the cause and awareness for guide running.

He said: "As well as highlighting guide running, I want to show my support for the hospice to help them continue to do the fantastic work they do.

"When I retired as an athlete, I felt a little low - as it had been all-consuming and I loved every minute of it.

"I wanted to get out running and show people that having a disability doesn't mean your world has to stop.

"Running has so many benefits mentally and physically - it also helps to prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes."

Simon will be taking part with trained guide, Rachel Andrews, who will visually aid Simon while he is running by calling out directions and highlighting any obstacles that may be in his path.

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The Paralympian - who recently completed the Reading Half Marathon with Rachel - said: "I met Rachel at the Ellenbrook Fields parkrun in Hatfield and she has guided me on a number of half marathons.

"You have to place so much trust in your guide.

"I have also received so much support through the Harpenden Arrows Running Club who enable me to run every week and take part in parkruns."

The first Great Hertfordshire AONB Marathon will take place on Sunday, June 2, and all ticket types include a free T-shirt and medal, plus a post-race recovery snacks.

Entries for the race - which starts and finishes at Offley Place - close at midnight on Monday, with all profit proceeds going to Letchworth-based Garden House Hospice Care.

There are three distances to choose from - a full marathon will cost £40, a half marathon is £30, or the 10km which is £20.

Entrants can decide their own pace and walk, run or jog.

To find out more or to enter, go to ghhospicecare.org.uk/support-us/events/detail/the-great-hertfordshire-aonb-marathon.

To find out more about guide running, go to www.guiderunning.uk.

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