On a rather chilly Sunday morning on 24 April, Ryan Jones, ELVis’ vision impaired London Marathon runner, put his running shoes on and placed his many months of dedicated training in to practice when he took on the huge challenge of running the 26.2 miles for the London Marathon to raise funds for ELVis.

The ELVis support team were ready and geared up to cheer Ryan on at Tower Bridge in their ELVis t-shirts and blue painted eyes on their cheeks. Thanks to Paresh our handy artist on the day. The team spent the time before the race promoting the work of ELVis, collecting donations and giving out the newly arrived ELVis merchandise to the general public.

With the goal of raising £2,000 almost in reach before the start of the London Marathon, we are delighted to report that Ryan has exceeded his target andraisedover £2,400. There is still time to donate to Ryan’s Virgin Money Giving page and show your support. Your support would be much appreciated, the more money we raise, the more people living with sight loss we can help.

With around 40,000 people running the 36th marathon and the clock fast approaching 10.00am for the start, ELVis took their place by the barriers on Tower Bridge, along with other spectators to cheer on the runners. Ryan made an excellent kick off across the start line and set himself a superb pace and ran the first 5k in 27 minutes.

When catching up with Ryan later to ask how he was feeling whilst waiting for the marathon to begin, he said: “At the start, I was just really excited to get going and the buzz around the start line with the atmosphere throughout was amazing. It felt a real community amongst the other runners striving to achieve the same goal of finishing the marathon and raising money for their chosen cause.”

Ryan was flawless and kept up the pace for the entire 26.2 miles, reaching the halfway point in 1:57:13. With 12k to go and running at a great speed the ELVis support team made their way to Horse Guards Parade to congratulate Ryan on his fantastic run across the capital’s streets and over the finish line in 3:54:38.

A few days after the marathon Ryan said: “I was delighted to get to the finish as after around 24 miles my hamstrings seized up so I knew my legs were struggling, although I still felt great but was relieved I was near the end point as the adrenaline pushed me through those last couple of miles, although my hamstrings were saying something else to me. It was a real pleasure to run for ELVis as I know what amazing work you guys do and the difference it makes to the service users, so please keep up the amazing work.”

Masuma Ali, ELVis CEO, added: “Having been successful in the charity ballot for the 2016 London Marathon was fantastic. Ryan has done a fabulous job in raising much needed funds for ELVis, in order for us to continue to deliver services and support blind and partially sighted people. Ryan should be extremely proud of himself and especially for beating his previous time. Many congratulations to Ryan and huge thanks for all his efforts over the past 6 months.”

Please donate generously to Ryan’s Virgin Money Giving page. Every penny raised goes towards improving the quality of life of Vision impaired people in East London!