A VISUALLY impaired Hereford student is gearing up to take on the London Marathon.

Royal National College for the Blind student Tara Wheatley was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, a macular degenerative eye condition when she was just 12 years old.

Now 20, Tara is a keen runner, but had never competed until RNC sports teacher Anna Robertson spotted her potential and encouraged her to take the sport more seriously.

With a target time of 4.5 hours, Tara will be running the marathon with guide, Tim Broome, who will help her navigate the unfamiliar course and crowds.

The London Marathon has always been an ambition of Tara’s. So, when the opportunity for a place arose, she was thrilled, and will be running to raise money for Blindcare, a charity that supports RNC.

Tara said: "Currently, I’m doing one long run per week with Tim. Along with weekly gym and track sessions with Anna and various other coaches focusing on my speed, rather than endurance.

"I’m motivated by the sense of achievement I know I will feel when I cross the finish line; knowing I have conditioned my body to meet such physical demands of the marathon through months of training is empowering. I hope to set an example for other visually impaired athletes like me."

Tara has a target of £2,500 for her London Marathon run. To donate, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TaraWheatley