A 1995 photograph inspired 44-year-old Dave Barker to take part in last year's Windsor Half Marathon, 20 years after he had run with his blind friend Peter Young, and to raise over £700 for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.
Aged 17, Dave was a high level athlete struggling to train on his own when he met his future training partner Peter. Peter was a winter Olympic skier and had represented GB in the summer games too. Peter was also blind; losing his sight aged 2 after suffering from a rare form of eye cancer.
An ankle injury put an end to Dave’s ambitions so he channelled all his efforts into supporting Peter, who was competing in the Nagano Olympics in Japan in 1994. At age 38, Pete should have been past his peak in athletics terms - however he came back a double medallist!
A year later, in 1995, Dave and Peter took part in the Windsor Half Marathon together. They remained firm friends for the following years. Sadly, in 2001, Peter was diagnosed with cancer in his calf which later spread to his lung and brain. He passed away 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.”
After Peter’s death, Dave lost his motivation for running. But, last year, after spotting a picture of himself and Peter taking part in Windsor Half Marathon in 1995, Dave decided to sign up for Windsor Half again.
Now, Dave has already secured his place in the 2016 Windsor Half Marathon and will again be raising money for CLIC Sargent. The 2016 Windsor Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 25 September and is set in stunning surroundings, featuring one of the most picturesque courses in the world with amazing views of Windsor Castle and across Windsor Great Park.
For event details go the event website. To find out more about CLIC Sargent, a partner for Windsor Half Marathon, go to the charity website.