Dereham man tackles Norwich half marathon - blindfolded

Distance running always requires strength, stamina and determination.

But add a blindfold and a Norwich City legend to the mix and you have a very special challenge on your hands.

Steve Plunkett, from Dereham, will raise money for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) when he tackles the 13.1-mile Larking Gowen Norwich half marathon tomorrow (Sunday) wearing a blindfold.

The 49-year-old business manager - a Canaries' fanatic - will rely on a guide to see him safely around the course and hopes to highlight the challenges faced by people with sight loss.

While the father-of-two is running the half-marathon, former Norwich City mid fielder Jeremy Goss - fund-raising manager for the NNAB - will be walking from Reepham to Norwich while blindfolded and meeting his friend on the finish line.

You may also want to watch:

'The challenge is to do the 13.1 miles blindfolded to replicate what it must be like to walk and run not knowing what's ahead of you when you put one foot in front of the other,' Steve said.

'As an experienced club runner, I've been in a number of races over the years when blind people have taken part and I've been bowled over by their sheer guts and their determination to compete on a level playing field. That shows a special spirit that should inspire us all.'

Most Read

The footballing pair met while appearing on a radio quiz show in Norwich and have been friends for around three years.

Steve was keen to do his bit for the charity and initially suggested that he lead Jeremy - who has since been injured - around the course.

'The hardest part when running blindfolded is the first 50 to 100 yards,' he said. 'It just feels really quite weird. I run with my eyes open even though I can't see because otherwise I feel like going to sleep.

'You have to have total trust and confidence in your guide, but I'm lucky - I can pull the blindfold off at any time.'

Steve and his guide, Keith Moore, hope to finish the run within two-and-a-half-hours and around �1,600 has already been raised in sponsorship.

'It's about focusing on what you can do when you are visually impaired, as opposed to what you can't do,' Jeremy said. 'We are trying to raise awareness of the NNAB and bring some funds into the charity as well.

'Steve is a very experienced distance runner and I know he's put a lot of work into this. It's not easy if you are a fully sighted person and suddenly you have a blindfold on and have to run - I get dizzy with a long blink!

'It's brilliant what he's doing - it's a tough challenge and I'm very proud of him. We will be meeting on the finish line and it will give me a chance to thank him.'

Jeremy will be setting off early from Reepham and walking the 13.1 miles to Norwich with the help of a guide from the NNAB.

'I've not been training for it, I'm just going to attack it on the day,' he added. 'I'm going to try and do it as fast as I possibly can with a good speed walk.'

The latest challenge follows the success of Jeremy's 1,300-mile 'Back to Bayern' bike ride in August, which raised more than �25,000 for the NNAB.

'If you're a Canaries fan like me, I'm sure you'll want to give what you can to spur on Gossy and me,' Steve added. 'So please, dig deep and once again, thank you very much for your support.'

To sponsor the pair, click on Cheques, marked Norwich half marathon, can also be sent to the NNAB at Magpie Road, Norwich, NR3 1JH.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus