Dave Barker has signed up to join Team CLIC Sargent in the 2016 Windsor Half Marathon. Dave, 44, took part in the event this year to mark the 20th anniversary of his first run in Windsor Great Park, when he took part as a guide runner with his blind friend Peter Young.
Aged 17, Dave was a high level athlete struggling to train on his own when he met his training partner Peter Young.
Peter was a world class nordic skier, a winter Olympic skier and had represented Great Britain in the summer games too. Peter was also blind; losing his sight aged two after suffering from a rare form of eye cancer called Retinoblastoma.
An ankle injury put an end to Dave’s ambitions of being a world class athlete and so he channelled all his efforts into supporting Peter, who was competing in the Nagano Olympics in Japan in 1994.
At 38, Pete should have been past his peak in athletics terms - but he came back a double medallist!
Windsor Half Marathon
A year later, in 1995, Dave and Peter took part in the Windsor Half Marathon together. They remained firm friends for the following years.
In 2001, Peter was diagnosed with cancer in his calf which later spread to his lung and brain. He sadly died on 12 July 2002.
The day before he died, Peter’s last words to Dave were: “Don’t worry, boy. I’ll kick this and we'll do Windsor next year.”
Supporting CLIC Sargent
After Peter’s death, Dave lost his motivation for running, feeling that part of him had died too. But this year, after spotting a picture of himself and Peter taking part in the Windsor Half Marathon in 1995, Dave decided to mark the 20th anniversary by signing up for the Windsor Half Marathon again.
Dave raised over £700 for CLIC Sargent by taking part in the event this year and has already secured his place in the 2016 Windsor Half Marathon and will again be raising money for CLIC Sargent.
The money raised by Dave will support children and young people with cancer, and their families by providing clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life.