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Judo champ Ben to take on Brighton Marathon
A paralympic hero will be ditching the ippons for his running slip-ons as he prepares for a gruelling new challenge.
Sussex’s Ben Quilter, who won bronze at London 2012, will run the Brighton Marathon in April after retiring from judo last year.
The 32-year-old required reconstructive surgery to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and after recently finishing his rehab is facing a race against time to fit in his training.
He said: “I’m going with the approach that I’ll be fit enough to do it, I just need to get a few runs in me.”
Mr Quilter, who has only peripheral vision after developing Stargardt’s disease in 1992, will also be running the London Marathon on April 13 – just a week after the Brighton event.
He added: “After I retired I just wanted to give something back to all the people who have helped me over the years.
“I wanted to do something a little bit different, so instead of just signing up to one, I thought ‘why not do two?’.
“I’m raising money for Blatchington Court Trust – they helped me and my brother out when we were younger, so it was an obvious choice for me.”
Mr Quilter will call upon all his experience that saw him crowned World and European Champion in 2010 and 2011 respectively to get around the course.
He said: “I think it will both help and hinder me in that I’ll have the mental toughness to do it, but I’ll always be trying to go faster.
“Generally, I can’t stand the long-distance running stuff.
“I much prefer the more explosive, high-intensity training, so it’ll be a challenge.”
Race founder Tim Hutchings said: “For a former world and European champion in judo to dedicate himself to training for the Brighton Marathon is something special, particularly as Ben has recently become a family man and started employment after calling time on his life as a top judo exponent.
“But I think Ben will find it a very different challenge to judo.
“He’ll obviously have retained a lot of fitness from his years as a world class competitor, but having knee surgery before embarking on any running training is going to make his challenge all the tougher, and when he starts on April 6 he’ll need every breath of support from Brighton’s brilliant spectators to get him round.”
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