Paralympic bronze medallist Ben Quilter’s two marathon challenge

Ben Quilter, London 2012 Paralympic bronze medallist who competed in Beijing has set himself an ambitious target to run the Brighton and London marathons, a week apart.

After retiring from full-time judo last December, Ben who is visually impaired, wanted to leave a legacy in recognition of some of the organisations that helped him in his own journey as a Paralympic judoka.

“I made the decision to retire from competitive judo in December 2013 and enter into the world of work,” he said.

“This was a tough call for a number of reasons, any lifelong judoka will tell you that it is a way of life and something that really gets a hold of you, not to mention my desire to chase success.

“However things change, the arrival of my son Reggie last year made me realise that it was time for a new chapter whilst I am still physically able to.”

First he will take up the 24 mile challenge in Brighton on April 6 followed by London on April 13, despite having never ran in a single marathon, half marathon or even a 10k run.

“If I am honest I never enjoyed a fight that lasted longer than five minutes, but I quite fancied the idea of a marathon,” he laughed.

“And the obvious choice was London, since it is the main event and in the capital city that provided me with some of the best memories of my sporting career.”

However he also wanted to run in his home city of Brighton – and so he decided to do both.

His only regret was never focusing on a long distance running projects during his sport science studies. However, he does believe that one week will provide adequate rest between the two given his former training.

“My plan is to raise as much money as possible for two charities that supported me in my quest for Paralympic success,” said Quilter.

“In doing so, I hope that II can give back will enable someone else to enjoy the sporting journey that I have had the pleasure of experiencing.

“We all know that it takes a huge amount of support for individuals to achieve success and I have been lucky to have received great support from a number of amazing charities and organisations throughout my years as an athlete.”

One of the first charities who supported Ben and his brother Lee when they were first diagnosed with Stargardts disease was the Blatchington Court Trust.

This trust provided emotional guidance as well as practical support and solutions when it was most needed and supported Ben’s judo career by funding his first full time training opportunity at East Durham College, where he was a part of the National Judo Academy.

He studied sports studies and trained every day as a part of the course which was formed the foundation of his elite career as a Paralympic judoka and later a platform from which to build upon and develop in the sport and in education.

Blatchington Court Trust is an independent and impartial charity working to promote the educational needs of young visually impaired individuals, under the age of 30, living in East and West Sussex. Since the Trust was launched in 1995, they have provided a large number of grants to clients for such things as computer equipment, magnification, sensory equipment and more.

Ben has also chosen to fundraise for the GLL Sport Foundation. Greenwich Leisure Limited are a Charitable Social Enterprise and The GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) in partnership with SportsAid have created one of the largest independent athlete support programmes in the UK and is committed to supporting young sporting talent achieve their full potential.

I have been supported by GSF since 2010 and am glad to be giving something back to further support the next generation of GB sporting stars.

“These two causes are very close to my heart and have helped me out immensely. so this is my way of saying thank you and hopefully enabling someone else to for fill their dream with continued support from either charity,” he added.

“I will be running with a small team consisting of some close friends and support staff from judo days gone by.

“So please give generously to support me and the guys in this challenge and help two great organisations continue to do great work.”

If you would like to support Ben, click on the following link to make a donation. While the page is set up in Blatchington Court’s name but the funds raised will be split with the GLL Sport Foundation.

Link to donate

For further information about Ben visit