Torch bearer in bid to swap his leg of run

EASTBOURNE Olympic torchbearer David Bradford has been prompted to try to swap his route so his friends can watch him run through his home town of Lewes.

Two weeks ago the Sussex Express revealed David, 29, who is losing his eyesight, was set to carry the torch in Eastbourne on July 17.

Since then, David’s friends have told him they were disappointed he had been allocated the Eastbourne leg of the route as they would be unable to watch.

“One suggested I try to swap with one of the torchbearers from Eastbourne who have been allocated Lewes,” he said.

His suggestion has been passed to the runners allocated Lewes and he is awaiting a response.

The freelance journalist, of Southover High Street, Lewes, is losing his sight as a result of retinitis pigmentosa.

His condition meant he was no longer able to drive while working for Superbike Magazine, so he shifted all his energy and enthusiasm from motorcycling to running.

In 2010 this culminated in his running a personal best in the London Marathon – raising funds for RP research – in a remarkable 2h38m.

He has also organised running events locally to raise funds for RP Fighting Blindness, and raised thousands of pounds.

The Olympic torch is due to arrive in Lewes shortly after 2pm on day 60 of the torch’s progress, from Brighton via East Grinstead, Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough.

From the A26 at Malling Down, it will proceed via Malling Street, Phoenix Causeway, Eastgate Street, High Street, Western Road and Brighton Road to the junction of Montacute Road, from where it will proceed in convoy to the next leg of the relay in Eastbourne.

The 70-day trek starts at Land’s End on the morning of May 19. It will visit every nation and region and stop off at landmarks such as Stonehenge and the Giant’s Causeway.

The torch will pass through more than 1,000 villages, towns and cities.