Marathon effort is a family affair

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A severely visually impaired runner from Rastrick who completed the London Marathon last weekend has raised more than £700 for British Blind Sport.

Chris Vaughan, 19, completed the 26-mile race in five hours and 42 minutes with his father Nick Vaughan, 48, who completed the race as a guide.

“It was my dad’s last marathon and my second, so it was really special,” said Chris.

“We had a tether, which is like a short rope linking linking my left arm and his right,

“My dad ran all the way through with us - we make a great team.

“We both had our names on our tabards so a lot of people shouted out our names, and that really keeps you going - it’s such a buzz.

“My mum and my brother were our supporters and they managed to see us three times and they didn’t tell us where they were going to be.

“They surprised us on mile seven, which is Cutty Sark; mile 13, which is Tower Bridge; and on the last mile, which is the Mall.

“It was a very good day - it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold either - it was very good running conditions.

“It’s like a community on the road - it’s such an amazing day.

“It’s just an amazing experience - you can’t praise the crowd enough. If there’s someone struggling, the crowd gets behind them and encourages them.”

To prepare for the race, Chris trained three days a week by running up to 20 miles along towpaths from Rastrick to Elland and Sowerby Bridge - this was in addition to two days a week athletics training and attending the gym.

“I’m a bit mad - I love running too much,” said Chris.

“With athletics I train for 400, 800 and 1500 metres on the track with my guide Paul.

“My aim is to do it professionally - I’d like to compete in major competitions.”

But it is marathon running that Chris is most passionate about.

“I love marathon running, more than anything - it’s probably the best thing I love doing,” he said.

“I’m already thinking about next year’s London Marathon - all the training I’ve been doing leads up to that one day.”

Chris lives with a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes him to have severe tunnel vision, meaning his useful central vision is around the size of a pinhole.

l To sponsor Chris, visit www.justgiving.com/Nchrisvaughan