Charity worker helps blind woman to finish Ladybower Trail Marathon

A South Yorkshire charity worker showed her selfless side when she helped a blind runner complete a cross country run.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 3:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 4:07 pm
Sophie Billington, from Cawthorne, near Barnsley, helps blind runner Louise Simpson around the Ladybower Trail Marathon.

Sophie Billington, from Cawthorne, answered a call for help from the organisers of the Ladybower Trail Marathon, who asked if anyone could help runner Louise Simpson.

Louise, who is fully blind, was travelling from London to take part in the 26.2-mile race on June 18, and had asked for someone to run with her.

“I just thought why not,” said 36-year-old Sophie, who works for the National Autistic Society. “I thought let’s go for it and see if we can get round.”

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The two women met at the start line and set off together. Louise is a regular runner despite her disability, although she did find the Peak District route challenging.

“It took longer than expected because we had to get a bit off road, which we didn’t realise,” said Sophie. “That was quite challenging for both of us.

But they finished together, not too far off Louise’s normal marathon time of about five hours.

Sophie, a member of Penistone Footpath Runners said: “Considering she can’t see where she’s going, it’s quite an achievement.

“I was dead proud of her. I admire her for doing it.”