Running blind is no deterrent for vision impaired woman determined to ‘see the world’

Casey Hyde is legally blind and by her own admission has a “fear of walking out the front door”.

But for this extraordinary woman competing in Ironman events is her “chance to break that fear”.

“You get that euphoria after a race of completing something that most blind people can’t do,” the 35-year-old said.

“If there’s a will, there’s a way.”

But the week before her latest race on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Casey nearly gave up on the event she’d trained three months for.

Her guide was struck down with COVID sparking a nationwide search for an athlete willing to be by her side for the 1.8 kilometre swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run.

Two women holding a competitors bib, smiling
Casey and Kelly say able-bodied athletes should consider being guides to allow people with disabilities to enjoy sport.(Supplied: Casey Hyde)

Then she was hit by a car while walking across a pedestrian crossing on a Melbourne street with her guide dog.

Shaken but undeterred, she called on Kelly Honess, who’d been alongside her in a previous Ironman event, to be her guide.

“She just said ‘Yes’ then said ‘What are we doing?’ She’s always been like that, “Casey said.

Against all odds

Kelly came out of retirement to join Casey, and had not ridden a bike in four years.

She agreed to accompany her on the swim and bike legs, but couldn’t do the run, so the search for a second guide began.

Casey put the call out to the nation-wide triathlon community and found Zoe Ferguson who, with no guiding experience and on the back of a bout of Ross River fever, agreed to run.

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