Record-breaking athlete and avid fundraiser ‘Blind Dave’ Heeley will start and participate in this year’s 10-mile Cathedral to Castle Run, it has been revealed.
Event organisers are over-the-moon to be welcoming the high calibre runner who has set records across the world with his epic feats of endurance.
As well as officially starting the charity event in Beacon Park on Sunday, April 8, the 60-year-old from West Bromwich will also be joining the 1,200 other runners on the iconic 10-mile course linking the two historic monuments of Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle.
Dave Heeley is no stranger to running – or fundraising for that matter. He is the first blind man to have completed the ultimate endurance challenge of seven marathons in seven continents in seven days.
That achievement and Dave’s story is to be featured in a film by Pixel Revolution films – 7 Days, The Story of ‘Blind Dave’ Heeley – which is backed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, Sir Doug Ellis OBE, Olympian Jo Pavey MBE and TV presenter and ex-footballer Chris Kamara, due out later this year.
Dave is also the first and only person to have completed John O’Groats to Lands End with a difference – through 10 marathons in 10 days and hundreds of miles of cycling. He’s escaped from Alcatraz and beaten the toughest footrace on earth –the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert. Dave was the first English blind person to take part in and complete the gruelling six-day 156-mile challenge.
Last year he completed 25 Great Runs across the world, raising £30,000 for charity in one year alone. This is to name just a few of the countless marathons, half marathons, runs, cycles and various other challenges Dave has completed, so to add the Cathedral to Castle Run to that list is a real honour for event organisers, the four Rotary clubs of Tamworth and Lichfield.
Dave said: “To be asked to set off what I can see will turn into a very prestigious run is an honour. Cathedral to Castle has a certain ring to it. Being an honorary Rotarian, it will be great to start the race and then also try and catch a few up. Good luck to all who take part.”
Kyle Raffo, Race Director for the Cathedral to Castle Run and Vice President of Tamworth Rotary Club, said: “We are really pleased that Dave is joining us for this year’s event both by starting the event and taking part himself. He’s a fantastic athlete and has run courses all over the world so it will be interesting to see what he thinks of our urban and cross-country route which links these two historic monuments.
“Dave is also an incredible fundraiser, having raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity – which is something we’re hoping to do with this event as it grows and develops. We are really inspired by Dave’s achievements and we hope his participation will inspire other runners to really challenge themselves, both on the course and in their fundraising efforts.”
You can read Dave’s full story online at www.blinddaveheeley.co.uk.
The scene is set for another successful Cathedral to Castle Run after a sell-out first year in 2017. The number of places has been increased from 500 to 1,200 and is almost sold out.
Anyone who would like to take part in the 2018 Rotary Cathedral to Castle Run on Sunday, April 8, is urged to secure their place now, by registering online.
As well as the unique 10-mile urban and cross-country route between Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle, two shorter courses have been added to the line up this year to enable younger runners and community spirited toddlers to get in on the action.
The first is a one-mile run for 11 to 16-year-olds who will be given the opportunity to run the last mile of the course through the town centre, round the Castle Grounds and across the finish line. There are 100 spaces available which must be booked in advance online. Parental consent is required for all participants, who will each receive a race T-shirt, medal and goodie bag in exchange for an £8 entry fee.
The second is a parents and toddlers run for youngsters aged one to three who can confidently toddle unaided or holding the hand of an adult. Pushchairs or harnesses are not permitted for this event, which will complete a 176-yard lap of the Castle Grounds.
Entries to the family run are priced at £8 per toddler – adults are free of charge – and can be booked in advance or registered on the day. All those who book in advance will receive a medal, goodie bag and T-shirt. Please note anyone who registers on the day will not get a T-shirt as these have to be ordered in advance, but will receive a medal and goodie bag.
The 2018 route has been slightly altered to take in Cathedral Close in Lichfield, after starting in Beacon Park, to bring runners even closer to Lichfield Cathedral. It will finish in Tamworth Castle Grounds where there will be an even bigger family fun day including children’s activities, stalls and event arena.
Entrance to the event costs £25 and includes a finisher’s T-shirt, a goodie bag and a medal. All proceeds will be donated to charities chosen by the Rotary clubs of Tamworth, Tamworth Anker, Lichfield and Lichfield St Chad.
Together the clubs are working hard to raise sponsorship from businesses to help cover event costs and ensure that as much money as possible is donated to the local charities nominated by each club. A variety of corporate sponsorship packages are again available for 2018, starting from as little as £100. Any businesses interested are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Runners are also invited to raise additional sponsorship money for charities of their choosing.
Register now for all runs at www.c2crun.co.uk