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Brave runner raises money for blind

PUBLISHED: 23:00 01 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:50 03 March 2010

RUNNING 26 miles around London is not a pleasurable idea to many people – but when you are blind it must be even worse.

But that did not stop Woodbridge man Alok Ruia from taking to the streets with thousands of other runners to complete the London marathon.

RUNNING 26 miles around London is not a pleasurable idea to many people – but when you are blind it must be even worse.

But that did not stop Woodbridge man Alok Ruia from taking to the streets with thousands of other runners to complete the London marathon.

Despite being registered blind, a determined Mr Ruia completed the run in three hours and 50 minutes.

Written on his back he had a sign which said: "Alok Ruia, blind runner, please take care."

He said: "It is really a kind of apology for people if I have banged into them, at least they will know the reason why."

Mr Ruia, Head of economics and business at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, has run the marathon seven times and his eyesight has gradually been deteriorating over the years.

He suffers from Retinitus Pigmentosa, which is a form of tunnel vision and since he was 16 years old his sight has gradually been getting worse. Objects appear to him as dark shadows.

He said: "I do need to find someone to run with now that my sight is worse.

"Last year I fell two or three times because of the sleeping policemen and also the cobbles around the Tower of London are a bit tricky."

Mr Ruia often trains with the Woodbridge Shufflers, but also used a treadmill as it is easier for him than running on the roads.

No matter how difficult the race becomes though the atmosphere and the finish line are always the best bit.

Mr Ruia said: "The end of the race was fantastic.

"A lot of people came up to and said that I had done really well.

"It is a good way to raise money because people can come along and have a good time."

From doing the run he raised £1,700 for the Muscular Dystrophy charity as his friends two children, who live in Derbyshire, both suffer from the condition.

The first time he did the marathon he managed to drum up £2,400, but he also does other charity events throughout the year.

This weekend he is preparing an Indian meal at Woodbridge School which his guests pay for and the money will go towards Muscular Dystrophy.

However he did say it was easier to run 26 miles than it was to prepare the marathon feast!


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