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29 June, 2017

Nathan's City2Surf Challenge

Nathan Johnston runs beside his running guide

Helensburg local Nathan Johnston was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was 7 years old. He began using a long cane when he was in primary school and become blind when he was 14.

Despite his vision impairment, this year will be Nathan’s fifth time participating in the City2Surf and he is looking forward to facing the challenge once more. It will be his first time running on behalf of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

“The City2Surf is an amazing running event and always fun to participate in. You meet people from all walks of life; it’s a beautiful day filled with laughs and positive energy,” Nathan said.

“Anyone can get involved, whether you walk, run or jog.”

Nathan will be accompanied by a team of aids, who will guide him along the 14 kilometre course from Hyde Park to Bondi beach. Training for Nathan includes fitness groups, outdoor running and using a treadmill when a running guide isn’t available.

Nathan first began competing in running events as a personal challenge but soon realised how much enjoyment they brought him and encourages everyone to get involved, as it’s a great way to fundraise for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. As only two per cent of funding comes from the government, Guide Dogs relies on community support to be able to continues its important work helping people with sight loss find freedom and independence.

“I really enjoy running events because they are a great way to maintain positive health and wellbeing. Most importantly though, events like City2Surf are a great way to meet people and spend a day out with friends,” Nathan said.  

Nathan is planning to compete in Blackmore’s Running Festival later this year. 

To support Nathan, visit his fundraising page. To find out more about joining the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT City2 Surf team visit www.guidedogs.com.au/run4gd