An evening with Simon Wheatcroft
A great night was enjoyed by members of DTC who’d turned up to listen to the story of Blind Ultra runner Simon Wheatcroft.
He started his story with his proposal to his girlfriend on the the top of a mountain in the USA, she said yes by the way and the background to how his sight condition has worsened to where he is now as blind.
Driven on by a refusal to quit he embarked upon his mission, which was to run unaided. He started by just running up and down a football pitch just by his house, once he was able to run a mile non stop, he convinced his wife to drive him down to the closed roads at Robin Hood Airport so that he could increase his distance.
Without telling his wife he stepped out onto open roads using the double yellow lines as his guide. He learned where the obstacles were by running into them and then remembering them for the next time. He was using an app called runkeeper that worked by gps and was audible.
He has continued to work with technology and also its development with companies such as Runkeeper, IBM and Apple.
Amongst his accomplishments are his first ever proper race was a 100 mile ultra in the Cotswolds where he got to 83 miles before he was pulled from the race. A run from Boston Massachusetts to New York and then take part in the New York Marathon, and the 4 Deserts race in Namibia, a 250km race.
Now Simon has decided to turn his attention to triathlon which has been interesting as his swim was just keeping his head above water when he first started. He can now swim 2 lengths comfortably, and it’s going to be great to watch him progress towards his goals.
There were many and varied questions which he was happy to answer and a special mention must go out to Ascot (Simon’s guidedog) who behaved impeccably throughout the evening.
Thank you Simon for inspiring so many people