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Running blind - Dave Heeley - 7 days 7 marathons

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Dave Heeley with Carla, his retired guide dog, and Wicksie, his current guide dog. Image: Guide Dogs
(Update on our Flora London Marathon post.)

Dave Heeley loved sports, but he began going blind when he was sixteen. He was reduced to using a long cane when he walked, and listening for footsteps to guide his own slow steps.

Now 50, Dave Heeley collapsed into the arms of his family and friends after crossing the Flora London Marathon, the seventh of seven marathons he completed in seven days to raise money and awareness for guide dogs.

Only two other people, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Dr Mike Stroud (in 2003), have ever completed this ultimate endurance test.

With sighted running partner Malcolm Carr, Heeley ran the Mount Pleasant Falkland Islands Marathon on 7 April, and pushed through pain barriers, time zones, and jet lag to run the Rio, Los Angeles, Sydney, Dubai, and Tunis marathons, ending with London on April 13.

Dave's first guide dog came to him after he had fallen in a road hole. His transformation with a dog at his side was immediate. “Having a guide dog meant walking again with my head held high." he says. "My confidence and speed returned overnight."

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Image: Guide Dogs

At home in West Bromwich, where he lives with his wife and three children, Dave has had guide dogs for the last ten years. His marathon fundraising will support Guide Dogs for the Blind.

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