Charity to Benefit from Virtual Marathon – Southend in Sight

Charity to Benefit from Virtual Marathon – Southend in Sight

Runners take on challenge for Southend in Sight

Southend in Sight, the local, independent sight loss charity, will receive some extra funding from two of its members as they take part in a virtual marathon.

Mike Williams is one of the charity’s visually impaired members and a keen runner. He was due to run the Manchester Marathon in 2020 but, like so many sporting events, due to COVID it was cancelled. Mike continued to run throughout lockdown and beyond and was keen to challenge himself while raising money for Southend in Sight.

So, Southend in Sight managed to secure two virtual London Marathon places for October 2021. The virtual marathon can be run anywhere in the world from 12.01am to 11.59pm (midnight to midnight), on Sunday 3 October 2021. Runners receive official running numbers and t shirts in advance, and medals once they complete their 26.2 miles. Last year over 37,000 people ran the first ever virtual London Marathon – this year, that figure is due to rise to over 50,000.

Mike will be joined in his endeavours by Gary England, one of the very popular shop and tech team volunteers.

Southend in Sight’s Community fundraiser Catherine Hodgson said “Gary was formerly a firefighter and has run marathons in the past. Now, being visually impaired, he fast walks everywhere, including several miles each way when he volunteers at our Centre and shop.”

Gary intends to fast walk two laps of the seafront from Thorpe Bay to Leigh and back. He will be accompanied on his journey by members of Southend in Sight staff for some of the way.

Catherine continued “If you spot Gary in his Southend in Sight tabard, please give him a wave and a shout of encouragement! We are very proud of Mike and Gary and very pleased that they are kindly undertaking this challenge to raise funds for us.”

To sponsor either of Southend in Sight’s participants in their marathon quest, please visit the fundraising page on the website: or call the charity’s office on 01702 34 21 31

The charity’s base at 117 Hamlet Court Road is only open for booked appointments but the charity’s shop is open.

Jamie Langstone