Monday, October 15, 2007

Blind triathlete breaks two hour record at Olympic distance

"The 25-year-old Scheidies and guide Ben Collins crossed the finish line 48th overall, about 14 minutes behind winner and Australian Olympian Greg Bennett. The field of about 1,100 included 41 professional triathletes.

"“I’m ecstatic,” Scheidies said. “Not necessarily because of what I did, but I wanted to prove to general society that people with disabilities can do things better than able-bodied individuals.”

Scheidies, a Michigan State graduate who lives in Seattle, suffers from juvenile macular degeneration, a condition in which the central vision slowly deteriorates. Only 10 percent of his sight remains.

Legally blind since fourth grade, Scheidies was tethered to Collins for the 1.5-kilometer swim and 10K run. In between, they rode a tandem bike in the 40K cycling leg.

Bennett finished in 1:44.41. His victory gave him a sweep in the five-race Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series and earned $420,000."

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