Professional triathlete Aaron Scheidies was born with a hereditary condition has left the 28-year old with only 10 percent of his vision. In 2007, he became the only disabled athlete to break two hours in an international distance triathlon (1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run), breaking a world record. In 2010, he broke that record, finishing Ohio's Sylvania Triathlon in 1:57:21. Below, Scheidies shares what it's like to race blind.
It's race morning and all of the triathletes are strolling into the transition area with their tricked out bikes. All heads turn and commotion stirs when an unusual bike rolls by them. As my guide directs the bike toward our designated area, whispers begin. Some athletes are so curious and confused that they come up and start asking questions. Over my ten years in the sport of triathlon I have heard it all:
“Can you explain this, I am a little confused.”
“There is a tandem division?”
“We should do a team like them next time.”
“So, who sits on the front of the bike?”