Sheffield runner experiences race with sight loss simulation specs

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For one runner taking part in the Yorkshire Half Marathon this year, the challenge had a different perspective to when she was training.

Weronika Kupiec was running as part of a team from Gripple Ltd to raise funds and awareness for local charity Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB), but she decided that on the day, she wanted to experience it as one of the people she was raising funds for.

Weronika wore glasses that simulate Macular Degeneration (MD), which affects the central part of the retina that we use for seeing things in fine detail, for example reading, writing, driving and recognising faces. MD is the most common form of sight loss in the UK and many of SRSB’s clients have this condition.

Thousands of people tackled the Yorkshire Half Marathon starting and finishing in the city centre, but taking in fantastic views from the top of Ringinglow Road.

These pictures give an idea of how a view might be affected when you have Macular Degeneration, and Weronika comments on her experience, “When I finished the race and took off the glasses I really appreciated my eyes. I understood more what people face with day-to-day basics, like not recognising other people by their look, colours and shapes are not as bight and visible, basically just simple tasks become more difficult! I also understood more the purpose of SRSB and the amazing work all their team does to help visually impaired people with their life, to help them enjoy life! And to all people whose eyes can be corrected with glasses - they need to be thankful”

Gripple Ltd is supporting SRSB as their Charity of the Year in 2017 and has got involved with lots of projects including their team of 6 in the Yorkshire Half Marathon. Jane Peach from SRSB comments, “It is always a pleasure to see the genuine enthusiasm and caring nature of the Gripple teams. They approach everything with real empathy and kindness, getting involved with our clients and supporting us hands on, and I know how much it is appreciated by our clients.”