My name is Karen Mallett, I am a visually impaired runner. I started my running journey in 2015. At that time I had never run before so I started my training by running one lamppost to the next. This was slowly built up until I could run the GNR which is 13.1 miles. After that I ran very little until I met my lovely friend, Jocasta Williams. In 2017 Jocasta introduced me to parkrun - I have completed 97 park runs, 54 of which Jocasta has guided me in. We have completed numerous 10k events and I have competed in 7 half marathons. Jocasta has guided me in 2 Great North Runs and continuously supports me in my training - no matter what I want to achieve, she is there; my enthusiasm for running is down to Jocasta and my other lovely Guides.

I am honoured to be completing two half marathons in September - GNR and Bristol. I will be raising much needed funds for CLEFT - a small charity who support children who are born with a cleft lip and palate. The children require at least four operations. The condition can affect the way children look which can affect the children’s confidence and cause psychological harm. Ongoing support is required with speech therapy and dental work; the condition can also affect the children’s hearing.

The reason I have chosen to raise funds for this wonderful charity is, when I was in primary school there was a child who was born with a cleft lip and palate, 40 years have passed, but I still remember that child and the struggles he experienced.

In these tough times I understand everyone is struggling, anything you can give will be much appreciated by not only myself and Jocasta but by the children we are supporting.

Karen Mallett