After losing his sight 10 years ago from the degenerative condition retinitis pigmentosa, Sunshine Coast man Robin Braidwood didn’t think he’d run again. That was until now. With his love for a challenge and gritty determination, Robin decided that completing a Tough Mudder was the ultimate goal.
Robin’s training started three months prior to the event, when he began running alongside his coach Norbert Petras. The pair run tethered together by a cord, enabling Mr. Petras to sense Robin’s pace and guide him along the way. Building trust throughout their training was vital, and whilst Robin tackles each obstacle on course himself, for the most part, Mr Petras is his eyes.
Whilst the usual obstacles runners face over the 18 km course- mild electrocution, barbed wire and ice- are challenging enough; even the straight runs are potential obstacles for Robin. Running through rugged terrain means he never knows where a pothole or divot may be, or where his foot may land. But this wasn’t enough to deter Robin, who joked that he will be a source of entertainment for spectators.
In May 2016, Robin completed the South-East Queensland course alongside his coach. Both Robin and Norbert were elated with their efforts in completing the challenge. Although navigating the fallen trees and obstacles was difficult, both men stated that the hardest test was definitely the last. Electroshock Therapy is nasty at best – but even more so when you have to link arms to get through successfully. For Robin and Norbert this meant double the shocks, as every time one was zapped it would travel through to the other.
For Robin, life is all about taking one obstacle at a time, and having friends to help you out along the way.
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