From Blindman to Ironman, by Haseeb Ahmad, Matador, £12.99
THE remarkable true story of how Haseeb Ahmad overcame his blindness to set the world record for the fastest Blind Ironman Triathlon is told in a new book that’s guaranteed to get the adrenaline flowing.
“My story is about triumph over adversity,” explains Haseeb. “From becoming blind in my teens I would never have dreamt that almost 35 years later I would break the World Blind Ironman Record.”
Haseeb was just 10 when he started to lose his sight. He knew his eyesight wasn’t normal, but the medical profession failed to diagnose the degenerative eye disease, which left him completely blind by the age of 20.
As his eyesight continued to rapidly deteriorate he struggled to come to grips with what was happening to him – and there were no answers for several years.
He got no help at school and home life proved tough, too. Things seemed to spiral out of control and the future looked bleak. He did his best to feel his way through the next seven years of his life until finally his condition was diagnosed in 1987 when he was 17.
After being registered totally blind following diagnosis, Haseeb faced more than his fair share of personal challenges: Would he get to university? Would he work, have a family and career?
If there was anything to learn about Haseeb it is that he has an abundance of grit, determination and a bountiful supply of humour. His positivity and zest for life has ensured that whatever the challenge, whatever the barrier, he never gives up. Many years later, at the age of 38, Haseeb found himself applying to join the GB Paratriathlon squad,
medalling at national and international competitions and then breaking the World Blind Ironman record in October 2016.
“I want to give hope and inspire anyone who may be struggling with life’s challenges to never give up. Every time I have fallen in life, sometimes literally, I have got back up and kept running – and that is my message to everyone out there… keep on running!”