Brave Leanne is running Southsea’s Great South Run for vision charity

Last year's Great South Run
Last year's Great South Run
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  • 30-year-old Leanne Finden is almost blind due to rare condition
  • Has only peripheral vision
  • Can only train in daylight
  • Raising money for sight-loss charity
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THE Great South Run inspires many people to go outside their comfort zone for charity.

And for Leanne Finden the world’s greatest 10-mile race, held in Southsea in October, will certainly be a challenge.

She is slowly losing her vision due to a rare eye condition, but is determined to finish the course before her sight goes completely – and raise money for a cure.

She said: ‘My condition affects me in every way of life – from walking, reading, working and socialising to my emotional and psychological wellbeing.

‘It makes me feel sad sometimes that I can’t experience things that others do, but I am still lucky that I have some of my sight left.

‘I won’t be looking at the impressive sights that make up the Great South Run course like other people. I will have to concentrate on the path ahead straight in front of me, as if I look at something while running I will fall flat on my face.

I will only be able to see the finish once I am close to it but if I can get to it without any accidents within the time I have set it will be an amazing feeling to cross the finish line

Leanne Finden

‘I will only be able to see the finish once I am close to it, but if I can get to it without any accidents within the time I have set it will be an amazing feeling to cross the finish line.’

Leanne, 30, from Aldershot, was diagnosed with auto-recessive retinitis pigmentosa three years ago.

The incurable condition means that her sight is deteriorating and she has no peripheral, night or colour vision. It means she has to limit her training because she can only run in daylight.

She added: ‘I am not a confident runner, but I was in the past so I know that I am capable of running the Great South Run.

‘I try not to think about the fact I may lose my sight as it makes me feel sad and frustrated a lot of the time.

‘When I do think about it I think of the things I may not be able to see, like my baby taking their first steps or travelling to see some of the sights of the world.’

Leanne is raising money for RP Fighting Blindness. Donate at Justgiving.com/Leanne-Finden1.

To sign up to the Great South Run go to greatrun.org/south.