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Seven marathons on seven continents in seven days - sounds like an impossible task for anybody and especially hard for a blind person. However, that did not deter 50-year old Dave Heeley or Blind Dave as he calls himself, from West Bromwich, England.
He completed this grueling feat this morning at the London Marathon, making him the third person in the world to do so and the first legally blind person ever.
Dave's mission is to inspire and encourage other blind people and also try raise one hundred thousand Sterling Pounds (about $200,000 U.S. Dollars) for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Dave believes that without his guide dogs he would not have been able to lead a normal life.
The Seven Magnificent Marathons Challenge, began at Mount Pleasant in the Falkands (Antarctica) on April 7th. After that Dave went on to run in Rio De Janeiro (South America), Los Angeles (North America), Sydney, (Australia), Dubai (Asia), Tunis (Africa) and finally today - the London Marathon in Europe. With each marathon spanning 26.3 miles, Dave ran a total of 183.4 miles in one week!
Every marathon had pretty much the same routine. Dave and his sighted running mate Malcolm Carr would receive a pre-run massage. They would then together, their wrists linked with a yellow band, with Malcolm providing a running commentary of the scenery along the route.
Post marathon they would go for an ice bath followed by a hot shower and a 20-minute swim. Then a carbohydrate heavy meal consisting of pasta, chicken and fruit and off to the airport to catch the flight to the next destination. Sleep was a precious commodity that Dave and Matt tried to grab during and in-between their flights and marathons.
After the final marathon this morning, Dave said he was exhausted but exhilarated that he had been able to complete his quest. He said that his toughest marathons were in Rio de Janeiro due to lack of sleep prior to the run, and Dubai, because of the heat. To read further about this amazing feat check out Dave's website www.7mm.org.uk.