Mathew Rowcliffe is preparing to don his running shoes for the Virgin Money London Marathon on 28 April in aid of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Mathew, 24, who lives in Northampton and is originally from Pencader in Wales, will run as part of Team RNIB to support the charity after developing Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy.
He started to notice changes in his vision around the time he was graduating from the University of Northampton in 2015. After undergoing blood tests, it was confirmed that he had the hereditary condition, which causes sudden loss of central vision.
This will be Mathew’s second London Marathon and he will once again be running for RNIB to support the charity’s work breaking down the barriers facing blind and partially sighted people.
Mathew, who is an assistant bar manager, said: “I was inspired to sign up for the 2019 London Marathon after reading about others registering for this year’s race. After running last year, it felt like there would be something missing if I didn’t take part.
“My brother Huw will be my guide runner again, and we’re hoping to cross the finish line in four and a half hours. This was our target for 2018, but due to the hot weather, our finish time was five hours and 20 minutes.
“We feel we have unfinished business with the London Marathon, and hope that we can achieve our goal time and raise more money and awareness for RNIB.”
Lizzi Wagner, Senior Challenge Events Manager at RNIB, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming back Mathew for a second year. He’s a fantastic addition to Team RNIB and we can’t wait to cheer him and Huw all the way to the finish line.
“The money Mathew raises will help us continue to smash the barriers facing people with sight loss. Please dig deep and support his fundraising efforts and help us reach our ambitious target of £230,000!”
Mathew has kick started his training since Christmas and has already raised over £1,000 of his £2,000 target. He’s hoping to reach £3,500, which would take his overall fundraising total for RNIB to £10,000.
To help Mathew reach his fundraising target and support RNIB, please donate at www.justgiving.com/mathewrowcliffe.