Hilton-Barber Miles (United Kingdom)

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Hilton-Barber Miles

Hilton-Barber Miles

© Hilton-Barber Miles

Although blind for the past 20 years Miles Hilton-Barber has made a name for himself as an adventurer who raises thousands of pounds for charities. He has most recently completed an Around the World in 80 Ways project circumnavigating the entire world. Miles is a Motivational Development Manager for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Miles was voted as BBC Radio 5 Live's "Alternative Sports personality of the Year" in 2003, featured in the latest edition of Debrett's "People of Today", and presented with an Honorary "Master of the University" award by Derby University, in recognition of his remarkable achievements in endurance events and his major contribution to charity. He also received the Rotary International Paul Harris Award.

In November 2000 Miles then set a world record as the first blind person to man-haul 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.

Major achievements

  • August 2004: Miles set another world first, becoming thefirst blind person to fly the English Channel in a microlight. He hasalso just set a new British high-altitude record, climbing to 15500feet in sub-zero, open cockpit conditions. In July he plans to embarkon a 35-day, 12500 miles world record attempt, flying a microlight fromLondon to Sydney, Australia with Storm Smith, a highly experienced andaccomplished microlight pilot, relying on speech-output from his flightinstruments.
  • July 2003: he participated in the Commonwealth Games Queen'sJubilee Baton Relay Race. Five weeks later Miles then set off on themassive "Around the World in Eighty Ways" project. This was a 93-day38000 mile circumnavigation of the entire world, accompanied by twodisabled friends, using over 80 challenging forms of transport,promoting the untapped potential of people with disabilities. Theseincluded swimming 11 miles under the Red Sea, hot air ballooning overthe Nevada Desert and setting the lap record for a blind driver at theMalaysian Grand Prix Circuit, racing a 200kph Lotus.
  • March 2002: Six weeks later Miles, as part of a 5-man team, setan astonishing new world record - crossing the entire Qatar Desertnon-stop and unsupported. The 200 kilometre journey, pulling a third ofa ton of water and supplies behind them, took them over 78 hours dayand night, without sleep. Miles then flew direct to France, havingentered in the Paris Marathon due to start 36 hours later, but onarrival in Paris found himself unable to walk and was declaredmedically unfit due to ankle and feet injuries sustained in the desert.
  • January 2002: he competed in the Siberian Ice Marathon,billed as "The Coldest Marathon on Earth". A few weeks later, afterqualifying as a scuba diver, he undertook 12 open water dives in theRed Sea off Hurghada , Egypt, exploring shipwrecks 80 feet down oncoral reefs. He is now qualified as an Advanced Open Water scuba diver.
  • August 2001: he participated in an 11 day Ultra-marathonevent across China, including sections of the Gobi Desert, 12000 feethigh Tibetan mountain tracks and the Great Wall of China. On returningto the UK, he then climbed Ben Nevis (the UK's highest mountain), andabseiled down several tower blocks for charity.
  • November 2000: Miles then set a world record as the firstblind person to man-haul a sledge over 400 kilometres acrossAntarctica. Frostbite prevented him from continuing his amazing bid tobe the first blind person to reach the South Pole.
  • April 2000: Miles climbed to a height of 17500 feet in theHimalayas. He then successfully conquered Kilimanjaro, the highestmountain in Africa at 19340 feet. A few days later he took part in amilitary expedition climbing Mt. Blanc, Europe's highest mountain. Foranyone this would be an impressive record, but it is all the moreastounding in that Miles has been blind for 20 years. He relies on hisfriend and sighted guide, Jonathan Cook , to help him achieve his goals.
  • April 1999: 54 year-old Miles Hilton-Barber completed the toughest foot-race in the World - the Marathon des Sables, a 150 mile Ultra-Marathon race through the 120 degree heat of the Sahara Desert
  • Miles' past achievements also include Grade 5 Zambesi white water rafting, tandem cycling marathons, abseiling, Scottish Grade 3 technical ice climbing, hot-air ballooning, water skiing, the 1998 London Marathon, para-sailing and 40 sky-diving jumps.
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