Often times, the most heroic individuals are those who overcome the odds, while showcasing courage and resilience. Simon Wheatcroft, of Rossington, UK, is the perfect example. Wheatcroft suffers from a degenerative disorder called retinitis pigmentosa. According to Wired.com, the disease "...directly affects the retina, so his eyes can’t properly convert visual cues to nerve signals that get processed in the brain."
But, being legally blind for the past 11 years, hasn't stopped Wheatcroft from living his life to the fullest. Earlier today, he began running what is sure to be a rugged and trying ultra-triathlon. Wired.com has more:
At noon local time, 90 people took off at the starting line of the Cotswold 100, a grueling 100-mile ultramarathon that sneaks its way north through the British countryside before circling back toward south Warwickshire.
Wheatcroft, however, won’t be able to soak in all the scenery as he slogs his way along the course. That’s not because his attention will be fixated on the task on the hand — finishing the race in the maximum 30-hour time limit — although it certainly will be.
Now, the race has arrived and readers are rooting Wheatcroft on. The runner has been keeping Wired.com readers up to speed for the past two months, letting them track his training progress, stamina, nutritional preparation and the like. The challenge won't be easy:
...the course starts off at a manageable 112 feet above sea level, but it’ll go as high as 1,037 feet by mile 18, a 925-foot elevation differential. That’s the high point of the race, and from there the hills will be frequent, although not too demanding. The last major obstacle will come just after Wheatcroft passes mile 80 — his own Heartbreak Hill, if you will — as he’ll experience a 400-foot-plus incline in less than three miles.
You can continue to keep up with him "on the run" via Wired.com, on Twitter or through his personal sites, AndAdapt.com and Blind100.com. If you choose to Tweet him, use hashtag #blind100 and he may respond to you!
One thing is for sure: Wheatcroft is an inspiring figure who has worked through adversity to show that barriers can truly be overcome.