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Magnificent Seven for Dave

THE LONDON marathon saw great celebrations and personal achievements for thousands of runners, but maybe the greatest achievement that day was the completion of a real marathon event by Dave Healey and his running partner Malcolm Carr.

Dave HeeleyA seasoned fundraiser for Guide Dogs, and blind himself, Dave completed his challenge of running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. He and Malcolm now become two of just four men ever to achieve this amazing feat, and Dave the only blind athlete to do so.

Starting in the Falkland Islands, with a great send off from the service personnel based there, Dave completed the first leg of his task in 4 hours 14 minutes, before boarding a jet to take him and his entire support crew to Rio de Janeiro. He then worked his way round the world running marathons in Los Angeles, Sidney, Dubai and Tunis.

The last port of call was the world-renowned London Marathon on 13th April. Dave and Malcolm finished the race in 5 hours 20 minutes before collapsing into the arms of waiting family and friends. After running a total of 183.4 miles in approximately 168 hours both men are now enjoying a well-earned rest at their Black Country homes.

Fifty year old Dave, from West Bromwich was inspired to take on the event by the life changing experience he has had with his own guide dogs, Peter, Carla and now Wicksie, who have enabled Dave to have independence during the past ten years.

As well as raising money for Guide Dogs in the UK Dave’s runs have also raised awareness and, he hopes, shown that there are no limits to what humans can achieve, whether sighted or blind.
Dave praised all who had supported him during the past week, especially the many who cheered him on in person on the streets of London. In a message after the race Dave said “I will carry every single person that joined me for the last 26.2 miles of the challenge in my heart, as I succeeded in proving to the world that sight loss is no barrier to independence and human achievement.”

* So far over £27000 has been raised for Guide Dogs, but there is still time to add to this. If you would like to make a donation in recognition of Dave’s Magnificent Marathon runs please visit

Facts about Guide Dogs’ Seven Magnificent Marathons

• Dave and Mac ran 3000 miles in preparation for the marathon over the past few months, including an extra 1500 miles on a cross trainer.

• Dave and Mac drank a mixture of water and energy and electrolite drinks equalling 5 litres per marathon and an average per day of around 10 to 11 litres a day.

• They were taking on during each marathon approx. 1600 calories, and in a day around 6000 calories.

• Their diet mainly consisted of dried fruit muesli bars, pasta and other high protein and carbohydrate foods.

• Dave and Mac have lost no weight due to the carefully planned nutrition programme, devised by Dr Phil Glasgow at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland who has travelled with Dave and Mac as team physiotherapist.

• After each marathon, Dave and Mac take a three minute ice bath to reduce the level of lactic acid in their bodies.

• They will have run 183.4 miles in a week – that’s 250,000 steps!

• 2008 will be the 7th Flora London Marathon which Dave and his sighted guide have run

• Having completed the Flora London Marathon on Sunday 13 April, Dave will have run 14 marathons in his life.