A runner from South Shields has been nominated for a top award after going to extreme lengths to raise funds and awareness for a charity.
Alan Lawrenson, 29, will be attending the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’s Community Champion ceremony for the support he has given the organisation.
To achieve a £10,000 fundraising target, Alan ran more than 812 miles, including 100 whilst made temporarily ‘deaf for the day’ and a further 159 across the Sahara desert.
Alan will attend the prestigious, star-studded ceremony, which is to be hosted by Olympic gold medallist skeleton racer and television presenter Amy Williams tomorrow to find out if he is a winner.
Despite conquering multiple marathons, ultramarathons and the toughest footrace on earth, The Marathon Des Sables, the customer retention manager for MedicAnimal felt the hardest race of them all was the 100-mile North Downs Way run, which he accomplished whilst deafened.
Alan had special gel moulds inserted into his ears by Specsavers Audiologists, rendering him 70% deaf for 40 hours.
He said: “I had to think about what would make people really take notice, set the bar, and get me to my fundraising target.”
After completing his ‘deaf’ challenge, in just over 22 hours, he said: “Without a doubt that race was the toughest I have ever completed.
“I’ve certainly gained more of an understanding of what people with hearing loss go through.
“As soon as the gel went into my ears I instantly felt like I was there by myself, despite there being four other people in the room.”
“I discovered that deafness can be a very isolating and lonely disability.
“Hearing Dogs for Deaf People train dogs as a practical alternative to technical equipment.
“A hearing dog offers companionship, confidence, security and independence to a person with hearing loss by alerting them to important and life-saving sounds.”
The Hearing Dogs Awards, attended by a whole host of high-profile celebrities and national treasures, is the highlight of the Hearing Dogs calendar.
It celebrates the incredible partnerships between deaf people and their life-changing hearing dogs.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is the only national Charity working to provide hearing dogs to transform the lives of deaf people across the UK.
These dogs not only provide vital practical support by alerting their deaf owners to sounds they would otherwise miss, they also provide greater fulfilment of life, companionship and independence.
For more information visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk