Cringleford man defies brain injury to run for charity

Dudley Garner, who has recovered from a brain injury from being hit by a car three years ago, with his wife Catriona, and their daughter,  Isabella. Picture: Denise Bradley Dudley Garner, who has recovered from a brain injury from being hit by a car three years ago, with his wife Catriona, and their daughter, Isabella. Picture: Denise Bradley

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
9:03 AM

A Cringleford man who suffered a permanent brain injury in a crash will be competing in his first London Marathon this year to raise money for brain injury charity Headway.

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Dudley Garner on one of his earlier charity runs in aid of Headway. Photo: SuppliedDudley Garner on one of his earlier charity runs in aid of Headway. Photo: Supplied

Dudley Garner, 31, will take part in the 26.2-mile run on April 13, and is hoping to raise as much money as possible for the charity which has offered so much support to him and his family following the crash which “turned his life upside down” in 2009.

Mr Garner, who lives with his wife Cat and three-year-old daughter Isabella, was hit by a car while walking home in Norwich in 2009, suffering fractures to his skull and neck and serious damage to his eye socket.

The injury resulted in permanent damage, the effects of which include depression, mood swings, forgetfulness, fatigue and anxiety. It has meant he had to leave his job as a financial advisor at Barclays Bank.

But Mr Garner is refusing to let his injury get him down and, with the support of his family and the brain injury charity, has turned to running to help others.

He said: “I want to help other people in a similar situation who maybe haven’t got the family or support. Headway have been phenomenal – the people are very easy to talk to, I speak to them regularly.”

Last year his wife bought him some running gear and encouraged him to “take control” of that part of his life and he has not looked back since, taking part in his first 10k race in Edinburgh, his first half marathon and the Great North Run. Having competed in the Norwich half marathon in November, he is now gearing up for his first marathon.

He said: “My aim is just to get round. If I get round I’m doing well and if I do it in under four hours I will be doing well, but it’s a long distance and when I get tired I get forgetful.”

As part of his preparation Mr Garner will be taking part in Sunday’s annual Valentines 10k race, hosted by his running club, the Norfolk Gazelles, who surprised him by announcing the event would be supporting Headway.

He said: “They decided to use Headway as the charity they wanted to support and didn’t tell me, and when they did I was just stunned and pretty overwhelmed. It was a lovely gesture.”

He added: “There are about 250 people already signed up for it and a limit of 400. If we can fill that out it will not only be good for the club but for Headway too.”

To find out more about the Valentines 10k or the Norfolk Gazelles log onto www.norfolkgazelles.co.uk

For more information on Headway log onto www.headway.org.uk

Are you doing something inspirational for charity? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436, or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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