Two Glasgow sports stars took part in a blindfold run this week in support of people with sight loss.

Boxer Ricky Burns and ex-footballer Alex Rae joined in the run looking to experience first-hand the challenges faced by blind marathon runner Scott Cunningham.

Charity champion Scott Cunningham MBE, who has raised around £300k for the charity Guide Dogs since losing his sight in 1993, has completed 11 marathons already this year as part of his “12 in 2021” challenge. 

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The final leg will be the Manchester Marathon on Sunday 10 October, where Scott will be guided by Royal Marines warrant officer Billy Rodgers. 

As part of Scott’s preparation, he was joined at Strathclyde Park by three-time boxing world champion Ricky Burns and ex Rangers, Sunderland and Millwall midfielder Alex Rae.

Aided by guide runners Billy and David, Burns and Rae ran for one mile blindfolded, with Burns describing it as “more nerve-wracking than stepping into the ring”.

Glasgow Times: Ricky BurnsRicky Burns

Scott decided to take on 12 marathons after the tragic passing of his guide dog Milo, which for a short time impacted his independence and added to feelings of isolation during the pandemic. 

With the support of friends and new guide dog Lincoln, Scott is delighted to be back out there doing what he loves – running and raising money for charity.

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Scott, who is running the marathons for Guide Dogs and the Royal Marines Charity, said: “I was heartbroken in January when we sadly lost my best pal, my guide dog Milo, who had done so much over the years. 

“Milo helped in raising so much money for worthwhile causes and put so many smiles on faces around the world.

Glasgow Times: Alex Rae Alex Rae

“I created a challenge of running 12 marathons over the year, with my friend and guide runner David Mooney creating 11 routes around South and North Lanarkshire, which we completed in all weathers over tough terrain.

“I’m doing this to give something back to charities such as Guide Dogs, who have helped me so much. I’m now on my fourth dog, without which I most probably would not be here today.

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“The Royal Marines have also been a sensational support, ensuring that so many of my fundraising endeavours were so successful. 

“It was only right I gave something back to them too. Hopefully the funds will be able to change lives and folks will enjoy the active lifestyle I have been lucky to enjoy with the help of both charities.”

Ahead of his final marathon, and looking ahead to afterwards, Scott is still keen to raise awareness and aspirations among people with sight loss. 

With the support of Ricky Burns and Alex Rae so far, Scott is already planning more blindfold runs with other well-known faces in Scotland and further afield.

Scott continued: “Ricky and Alex have been incredible supporters of my fundraising endeavours and were delighted when I asked them to take on this challenge, as they both know what Guide Dogs and the Royal Marines Charity have enabled me to achieve.

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“I would love for others to take part in the Blind Mile Challenge, giving participants a wee taste in what keeping fit with a vision impairment is like. Even if it’s walking, jogging or running, for a few metres or a mile, it’s a great opportunity to learn, stay fit and also raise money for charities close to your heart.”

Over 360,000 people in the UK are registered blind or partially sighted and of these 35,000 are children or young people. 

In total over 2 million people in the UK live with some form of sight loss.

Guide Dogs purpose is to provide life-changing services for the independence of people living with sight loss, and also for their friends and family.

People wishing to support Scott’s fundraising challenge can do so here