In April 1999, Miles Hilton-barber - the 53 year old Motivational Development Manager for the Royal National Institute for the Blind - completed the 'Toughest Foot-Race in the World', the Marathon Des Sables, a 150 mile Ultra-Marathon through the 120 degree heat of the Sahara Desert.
In April 2000 Miles climbed to a height of 17,500 feet in the Himalayas. He then successfully conquered Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet. A few days later he took part in the unique "Highest and Deepest 2000 Project" on Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain.
For any person this would be an impressive record, but it is all the more astounding
in that Miles has been blind for 20 years. He relies on his friend and sighted
guide, Jonathan Cook, to help him achieve his goals.
In November 2000 Miles then set a world record as the first blind person to manhaul a sledge over 400 kilometres across Antarctica. Frostbite prevented him from continuing his amazing bid to be the first blind person to reach the South Pole.
In August last year he participated in an 11 day Ultra-marathon event across China - including sections of the Gobi Desert, 12,000 foot high Tibetan mountain tracks, and the Great Wall of China. On returning to the UK, he then climbed Ben Nevis (Britain's highest mountain), and abseiled down several tower blocks for charity.
In January 2002 he competed in the Siberian Ice Marathon, billed as "The
Coldest Marathon on Earth".
A few weeks later, after qualifying as a scuba diver, he undertook 12 open water dives in the Red Sea off Hurghada, Egypt, exploring shipwrecks 80 feet down on coral reefs.
April this year saw Miles, as part of a 5-man team, set an astonishing new world record- crossing the entire Qatar Desert non-stop and unsupported. The 200 kilometer journey, pulling a third of a ton of water and supplies behind them on multi-terrain desert carts, took them over 78 hours day and night, without sleep.
Miles then flew direct to France, having entered in the Paris Marathon the same week, but was declared medically unfit due to ankle and feet injuries sustained in the desert.
Later this year he is participating in the massive "Around the World in 80 Ways" project. This will involve being part of a team of 3 individuals with "disabilities", circumnavigating the entire world, using at least 80 of the most challenging forms of transport, seeking to raise international awareness of the untapped potential of people with "disabilities".
Past Accomplishments Include:
Grade 5 Zambesi white water rafting, tandem cycling marathons, abseiling, Scottish Grade 3 technical ice climbing, hot-air ballooning, scuba-diving, the 1998 London Marathon, para-sailing and 40 sky-diving jumps.
More information about Miles Hilton-Barber
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