Blind runner and jogging cabbie in 24-hour Hornchurch race

18:04 10 June 2014




A blind runner and a jogging cabbie who uses his knowledge to give athletic tours of the capital will be among those taking part in a 24-hour race.

Peter KellyPeter Kelly

Simon Wheatcroft, 32, lost his sight when he was 17 but was able to carry on running using a smartphone and the feel of the ground underneath as navigation.

He will take part in the Spitfire Scramble mega-marathon in Hornchurch Country Park.

The August event, which is the first of its kind to take place in London, will see solo runners and teams of up to eight complete as many laps of the 5.8mile course.

Competitors are free to rest at the on-site camping facilities but the race is on to clock up as many laps as possible.

Simon, from Doncaster, will compete with the Guiderunning.UK team that will comprise of four blind and visually impaired runners and their guides.

Simon said: “Running is important to me. I love to train, I love to compete. But if I wish to do this outside of a controlled or familiar environment I need a guide.

“I saw this as a great opportunity to formalise a growing movement and offer insight to other experienced or aspiring runners.”

Another keen runner taking part is a cabbie who began using his knowledge to navigate the streets of London on four wheels but added another string to his bow by becoming a running tour guide.

Peter Kelly, 42, of Hunter Drive, Hornchurch, uses his map-like knowledge to offer visitors the chance to combine sightseeing and exercise but he will take on a new challenge with his team at the event that begins at noon on August 30.

He said: “The event will showcase on of London’s real gems in terms of green spaces, and it means I’ll be only too happy to guide a few tourists around town this summer to make sure I’m in shape come race weekend.”

To get involved in the race contact organiser Danny Coyle on 07872 177 603 or email

Read more:

Cabbie breaking ‘fried breakfast’ stereotype in painstaking race training

Hornchurch cyclist reunited with first aiders after race crash

Gallows Corner Tesco goes pink for Race For Life

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 14:12
Chancellor George Osborne outlined the government's spending plans in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review (Pic: PA/Yui Mok)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced his budget proposal for the next five years – here are the main things to know.

Yesterday, 11:56
Picture: Google maps

A man has been arrested os suspicion of stabbing a 16-year-old boy near Havering College.

Yesterday, 11:23
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Stratford - to save £11million

‘All the conversation now is about social media, removing something as important as this is a false economy’ say Tories

Yesterday, 08:45
Ingrebourne Valley Ltd has lodged an appeal against the council's refusal to the planning application to merge Hornchurch Country Park with Ingrebourne Hill by dumping waste

Controversial plans to dump waste and double the size of Rainham’s Ingrebourne Hill will be considered again next month.

Yesterday, 07:00
80 years old Arthur Boulton, ex marine, competative smimmer and powerlifter.

As the evenings get colder and darker making it to the gym can be a battle for even the most strong-willed.

Tue, 16:53
Picture: Google maps

A 16-year-old boy has been taken to an east London hospital after “suffering a stab wound” police have said.

Tue, 14:08
Phyllis Woodham - taken in 1942

“While there are people like you there will always be an England.”

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder