Black Country legend Dave Heeley OBE, or ‘Blind Dave’ as he is more commonly known, is a force to be reckoned with.
Dave, who lives in West Bromwich, lost his sight at a young age but he never let this hold him back. Having developed a passion for long-distance running, the achievements and adventures on Dave’s record are incredibly inspiring.
One of his greatest achievements was in 2008 when he became the first blind man to run seven marathons on seven continents in just seven days, raising staggering amounts of money for charity.
In the 13 years since then, Dave’s determination to raise money via gruelling challenges has never wavered. In 2011, Dave covered 1,000 miles, conquering 10 marathons and 750 miles of tandem cycling in just 10 days, travelling from John O’Groats to Land’s End. In 2015, Dave persevered in the Marathon des Sables – known as the toughest race on the planet, it consists of six days across the Sahara Desert, running over 160 miles. Dave has also taken on the ‘Escape from Alcatraz’ challenge and the Comrades Ultra Marathon.
His incredible feats of endurance have not only raised over £3 million for various charities, but Dave was also awarded an OBE in 2020 for services to charitable fundraising.
Still a local legend at heart, Dave has inspired hundreds of people, many in similar positions to him, to take up running and fitness, and often giving up his time to help, encourage and support others on their own journeys.