Burgess Hill woman takes on 100k challenge in memory of grandfather

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A fitness instructor from Burgess Hill is challenging people to walk 100 kilometres for Blind Veterans UK.

Nikki Bailey, 44 of Leylands Road, is completing the charity’s annual 100k London-to-Brighton walk to raise money to support blind and vision impaired veterans.

She said: “I hadn’t heard about Blind Veterans UK until a few months ago, but the more I read about the charity, the more I started to feel like it was something I really wanted to support. It was a cause that really got into my heart.

“I’d seen they were looking for people to walk 100k to raise money for them – I spent a few nights just thinking about the event, wondering whether or not I’d be able to manage it, and in the end I just thought, ‘If it’s on my mind this much, I should definitely sign up.’”

Nikki, who is a qualified fitness instructor, will be completing the walk in memory of her grandfather, Charles Yonwin Cartwright, who served in a bomb disposal unit during the Second World War.

“My grandfather was someone who went out to war, who went through things that most of us can’t begin to imagine and I don’t want to let any veteran suffer from sight loss without support.”

Nikki is currently training for the event which sees her complete a three-mile run before taking her children to school, several times a week.

She has founded a team of walkers, Stride on Time, which will walk the 100k together.

Having met on Twitter, the team will meet in person for the first time at the beginning of the event.

“I think there are a lot of people who might want to do the 100k and raise money for this brilliant cause, but don’t want to do the whole event on their own.

“I don’t want to let anyone be put up with that, so Stride on Time is open to anyone who wants to have a friendly group with them to complete the challenge.”

Places for the 100k, which will kick off in Putney on Saturday June 21, are currently open, with a registration fee of £99 per participant or £120 for a two- or four-man relay team.

The all inclusive entrance fee for participants includes hot food at three rest stops, snacks and refreshments along the route, support from first aiders en route and a free event t-shirt.

The event is Blind Veterans UK’s biggest annual fundraiser and takes walkers from a starting point in south London, along the banks of the Thames, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs to the charity’s centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.

To sponsor Nikki, please visit www.justgiving.com/StrideOnTime.

For more information about the 100k hike and about Blind Veterans UK’s work, go to www.blindveteransblog.org.uk/walk-100k or sign up at http://walk100.org.uk/sign-up/.