Blind hero Hein Wagner to raise funds for Vision Trust

Absa Cape Epic 2011 Stg 2 Tulbagh

Hein Wagner and Gerrie Viljoen competing in the 2011
Absa Cape Epic.
Photo: Hein Wagner

Blind adventurer and motivational speaker Hein Wagner will be taking part in his first Woolworths Charity Triathlon. In its 5th year of running, race organisers hope to raise R5 million to donate to charities across South Africa. Originally scheduled for Saturday, 16 November at Paul Cluver Wine Estate, bad weather conditions prompted organisers to postpone the event to 1 December.

Wagner will be riding to raise the profile of the Vision Trust and challenge the perceptions over the perceived incapacity of people without sight. Says Wagner: “Woolworths will be making a donation towards the Vision Trust, an organisation dedicated to removing perceived barriers of entry to blind people and promoting the integration of disabled persons into the workplace and sports arena.”

Riding with triathlon partner Gerrie Olivier, with whom he also completed the Absa Cape Epic, Wagner is looking forward to making reasonable time and enjoying a beautiful day from the back of a tandem bicycle.

The Woolworths Charity Triathlon caters for both novice and professional athletes, offering both long and short distance events, 800m swim/21km cycle/10km run and 400m swim/12km cycle/ 5km run respectively. To the question whether he feels apprehensive about the race, Wagner answers:  “I have no idea how challenging the race is going to be. Sometimes it’s better not to know what you’re letting yourself in for!” Wagner will be competing in the long distance race. “I’m always ready for the long run!”

After presenting a keynote presentation to Woolworths, Wagner was invited and challenged to participate in the race. “Despite the fact that I’m always up for a challenge, this race will be my first off-road triathlon. Cross-training is ideal to maintain general fitness. After completing the Absa Cape Epic in 2011, I’m pretty much bike race ready all the time, but I’m a little concerned about the swim.”

The Woolworths Charity Triathlon will serve to help Wagner prepare for the Coronation Double Century later in November as well as the Antarctica Marathon, considered his toughest challenge to date, in March 2014.

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