Photos: From Batman to Howard the Duck – runners join Kent Association for the Blind superhero event

Storm troopers with 83 year old Ray Johnson who started running at 77 Photo Frank Leppard

Photos by Frank Leppard

Despite 31 degree heat, superheroes of all ages joined a sponsored run for Kent Association for the Blind on Sunday (August 14).

KAB’s Superhero 5K, 10K and Fun Run, sponsored by Specsavers Kent stores, took place from the grounds at Margate FC  and was well attended.

Photo Frank Leppard

Runners got into the spirit of the event and came dressed as their favourite superhero; from Batman and Wonder Woman to Howard the Duck and Groot! The costumes proved quite a fantastic sight for spectators, as the runners took to the course in Margate.

Photo Frank Leppard

The fun runners took on a range of obstacles, including being sprayed with water, stepping through tyres in Clip n Climb’s obstacle course and throwing bean bags at Star Wars villains!

Photo Frank Leppard

Beth Tabeart, Fundraising Manager at Kent Association for the Blind, said: “This was our second superhero run at Margate and it was certainly our best event. Even in the sweltering heat, people turned up in costume, enthusiastic and ready to take on the run.

Photo Frank Leppard

“We’re so grateful to all the runners, spectators, sponsors, volunteers, stall holders and local dignitaries who made our event such a success. We’ve raised over £16,000 so far, which is fantastic!”

Last year, 58-year old Rick Newman (pictured with KCC chairman Lesley Game)  from Ashford vowed he would run his first and last 5K. But he enjoyed it so much, that he decided to take on a challenge to run 50 5Ks in one year – his most recent being the KAB Superhero Run on Sunday.

Rick said: “I might have bitten off more than I can chew, but this year I’m aiming to run 50 5Ks. As part of my challenge, I’ll be running in the Superhero Run, because KAB continue to support me through my sight loss.” So far, Rick has raised more than £1,300.

Photo Frank Leppard

When Rick was first diagnosed with his eye condition four years ago, his eyesight deteriorated quickly. He soon fell into a dark place and found it difficult to come to terms with.

Photo Frank Leppard

Kent Association for the Blind’s eye clinic liaison officer at the William Harvey Hospital had numerous conversations with Rick, talking through his concerns and giving him information about the support available to him. As a result, Rick had an at-home assessment to look at potential safety concerns around the home and garden and trained him on how to use a long cane.

Photo Frank Leppard

Rick continues to work and with the support of KAB’s Assistive Technology team, he continues to use a computer and access additional technologies to help him stay independent.

Photo Frank Leppard

‘Hunter’ and ‘Panther’ from The Gladiators TV Show joined the event to get the runners warmed up and ready to take on the challenge.

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There was plenty to do for all the family at the superhero village, including activities run by Clip n Climb Thanet, Inclusive Sport and Team Tasha Fitness.

Thanet Roadrunners member James Figgins also took part in the event and is currently training to be a guide runner. This is a role where able-bodied runners guide visually impaired people on races, enabling them to compete. James successfully guided a lady round the course last Sunday, in the heat, wearing a full on Batman costume.

Thanet roadrunners AC regularly donates some of the proceeds of its races to local charity. The club has chosen to support Kent Association for the Blind, in honour of the work that James is doing, and members will be continuing to support him on his journey.

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