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London Marathon money raiser

Aled Brassington

As we reported in the last issue of High Peak Review, optometrist Aled Brassington was training hard in preparation for the London Marathon. And at 10am on 22 April, he lined up alongside 40,000 other hopefuls and set out to tackle the 26 mile race.

Aled, who works at Moran's Opticians in New Mills, was part of a team of seven runners raising money for Vision Aid Overseas. Founded in 1985, the charity helps give access to eyecare for people afflicted by extreme poverty. Around the world there are as many as 1.1 billion people unable to see properly, eighty-nine percent of them live in developing countries. Vision Aid Overseas works in five African countries to ensure children and adults are able to see well enough to be educated and earn a living. Emphasis is placed on training locals to provide eye care, enabling them to look after future generations.

With the temperature reaching 24 C this year's marathon was the hottest on  record, hardly ideal for Aled's debut event. As well as drinking copious amounts of liquid, competitors were slathering themselves in sun cream – almost unheard of in April. The organisers were so concerned by the weather that they arranged for London Fire Brigade to dowse the runners with water at various points around the course.

As well as running along The Mall to cross the finish line, a definite high point was passing over Tower Bridge. Crowds lined the street to cheer on the athletes as they pounded across the Thames. Rounding the corner and coming face to face with the world famous landmark was, he says, a 'definite pinch yourself moment'.

Aggravating an old rugby injury after about eighteen miles, he needed physiotherapy by the roadside. Despite this, and the debilitating effect of the scorching heat, he completed his run in a very respectable time of four hours and ten minutes.

Aled is already looking ahead to his next event. He had hoped to finish more quickly and was actually disappointed by his time. The Dublin Marathon in October is a possibility and he is considering an entry. Asked if he would run the London Marathon again, he answered without hesitation: 'Yes, in a second.'

So far, he has raised around £1,900 of his intended £2,000 target. Anyone wishing to donate can call into the shop on Market Street or visit