On 12 October 2013, Darren Fittler, a blind man from Sydney Australia, will be participating in Tough Mudder. If he completes the course, Tough Mudder has confirmed that he will be the first blind person in the world to do so.
“I didn’t know I would have the opportunity to achieve a world first when I decided to enter Tough Mudder,” said Darren. “But, whoa, that’s pretty exciting. Just gotta do it now!”
Darren, who had lost most of his sight by the age of 12, is participating as part of the Almost Fit team which includes his personal trainer and now friend, Dirk Venter, with whom he has been training for almost 5 years now.
“It was Darren’s idea to have a go at this crazy event, not mine” said Dirk, “and, having witnessed his determination over the years, I am sure we will make it.”
But Darren is the first to admit that he won’t be able to make it on his own.
“I love the concept of Tough Mudder being a team event. I am not participating with a team around me because I am blind, but because everyone is encouraged to enter as a team. In fact, many of the obstacles are impossible to complete without a team. Being a member of the Almost Fit team means I will be assisting my team members as much as they are supporting me,” Darren said.
Darren and Dirk, together with the rest of the Almost Fit team, Michael Meredith, Glen Wellham and Paul McGee, start their Tough Mudder quest at 8AM on 12 October 2013 at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway.
Then, by midday, after close to 20km of half-pipes, electrical wires, ice pits, 13-foot vertical walls, balance beams, monkey bars, barbed wire and mud, mud and more mud, Darren could well be the world’s first Blind Mudder!
And so, what’s next for Darren?
“I don’t really know at this stage,” he said, “because my immediate focus is on completing Tough Mudder and sharing this experience with all the awesome people following my journey. I do have a spark of an idea, though, that may or may not turn into anything, which involves sharing my passion for life, learning and fitness with others in some way.”
You can learn more about Darren’s journey to Tough Mudder and gain some insights into his life as a blind person by reading his Tough Mudder Diary 2013.
And if you want to be in the loop on what Darren gets up to next, join up to receive the Almost Fit newsletter