|Chiswick Veteran To Take on 100K Trek|
Seeing friend blinded inspired Barry Palmer to support charity
An ex-Soldier who has served in Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Desert Storm tackled Blind Veterans UK's gruelling 100k London to Brighton walk for the fourth time in a row as a way of saying thanks to the charity that has supported his friend with his battle against sight loss.
Barry Palmer, 46, who lives in Chiswick, served with the Scots Guards for 12 years and has since become Director of Security at a hotel. He decided to support Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind ex-Service men and women, when he saw the impact it had on his friend and former comrade in the Scots Guards.
Barry says: “During my time in the military I saw some horrific injuries, but what touched me the most was seeing a friend blinded by shrapnel from a mine. His wife was pregnant with their first child at the time, and so he never got to see his baby. I remember him telling me about the help he received from Blind Veterans UK to get his life back together, which is I continue to take part in its brilliant 100k walk.”
The annual trek, which is the charity's biggest fundraiser, takes walkers from south London, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs, and ends at the charity's centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.
Lines are now open for next year's walk and there is currently an early bird rate available to all those who register before 31 October 2013.
Barry says: “I have tackled the 100k walk three years in a row now and I have to say it does not get any easier! It is just as hard each time.
“For me it has become an annual challenge now, one that is extremely enjoyable though also very tough. I find the end of the route is the toughest. You have to go over hill after hill before you get to Brighton but this bit is also very rewarding because once you have done this you know that the end is in sight.
“One of the best bits about it is the people you meet along the way. You start with people you don't know and by the end of the 24 hours you feel as though you have known them your whole life. I still keep in touch with other walkers and ask them if they will be doing the next one.”
Blind Veterans UK is offering an early bird discount for those who sign up for the walk before 31 October 2013. Taking place over the weekend of Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June 2014, the early bird offer means that the cost of a space is £75 per person or £100 per relay team (instead of £99 and £120 consecutively). The charity is also introducing two man relay teams so that for the first time people will be able to take part in twos walking 50km of the trek each.
The entrance fee for participants includes hot food at three rest stops, snacks and refreshments along the route, first aiders en route as well as a free event t-shirt.
August 21, 2013