A local man has raised over £2,000 for the charity Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) after completing the London Marathon in just over four hours.
Jimmy Helsby, 33, dispensing manager at Specsavers in St Helens, completed the gruelling challenge along with running friends Mike Gregory, Mark Rogerson and Sarah Birkett. The team chose to fundraise for the RNIB after the charity supported Mark, who is partially sighted.
Thanks to a generous £500 donation from Specsavers’ directors to kick-start his fundraising as well as additional help from store director Martin Hurst in funding training gear and travel, Jimmy was able to beat his £1,800 target late last year, holding a charity evening for friends and family to raise further funds. So far, the father of two has raised £2,150.
His journey to the marathon started last year when he watched the race on television and decided to enter. Jimmy is no stranger to challenging physical events however, as he’s also about to take part in his tenth Tough Mudder this summer.
Jimmy commented: ‘Considering I had completed so many Tough Mudder events, the London Marathon was a completely unique experience for me. It was almost like a carnival atmosphere, with cheering crowds all along the course to keep us going.
‘The first 21 miles went perfectly to plan and I paced myself really well. But I hit a wall after that and it was another RNIB runner who encouraged me to get started again. When I made it over the line, I was quite happy with my time of 4.03.05 for my first marathon and I would do it again in a heartbeat as running for the RNIB was another way for me to help partially sighted people.’
Supporting people with sight loss
Tom Lowry, Specsavers store director in St Helens, said: ‘The whole team at St Helens Specsavers got behind Jimmy’s efforts to raise money and we’re very proud of his excellent fundraising for a charity that supports people with sight loss.
‘He’s been incredibly dedicated to his training and did a fantastic job in his first London Marathon.’
Jimmy’s Just Giving page is available here