Running Blind


Running Blind

By Rob Matthews

ISBN13: 9781869508012

RRP $36.99


"Disability is in the eye of the beholder.  I choose not to let my disability stop me from doing anything.  I know that I wouldn't have achieved half as much as I have if I had lived a normal life.  Going blink forced me to focus."

This is the first time in New Zealand publishing history that an adult non-fiction title has been printed in Braille at the same time as print.

Rob Matthews inherited a congenital condition from his father and when he was 11 years old his sight started to deteriorate.  By the age of 20 he was totally blind.  Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he turned to running - now he is the fastest blind man in the world.

Rob has won 29 international gold medals, set 22 world records and been awarded with the MBE by the Queen for Services to Sport for the Disabled.  He has skied cross-country in Norway, cycled across the UK and Europe, driven a racing car and plays golf, football and cricket.

So what next?  COmpeting in the Marathon des Sables through the Sahara Desert and skiing the 650km marathon to the North Pole are two of his ambitions, and in September 2009 Rob represented New Zealand for the first time in his first triathlon in the World Paralympics and won silver!

Running Blind is Rob's incredibly brave story of living life in the dark.  He has overcome not only the challenge of losing his sight but also losing his father to cancer and coping with the sudden death of his first wife to a blockage in the brain at the age of 38.

But Rob is one of life's genuine people who truly believes anything is possible if you set your mind to it and everyone can strive to be extraordinary.

He is fearless and will take on any new challenges including moving halfway across the world from the UK to New Zealand to follow his heart and marry Auckland interior designer Sarah Kerr, and Robbecame a father for the first time in 2007 when his son, Thomas, was born.

His story is unique and an example to others to stay focused on their goals and not let physical barriers, mental barriers or stereotypes stop them from achieving all that is possible in their lives.  Running Blind will inspire people to chase their dreams and never give up.

About the Author

Rob (Bob) Matthews, MBE, went blind as a teenager.  Determined to lead as normal a life as possible, he became a runner and represented Great Britain for many years as a gold medal winning Paralympian.

Rob and his wife, Sarah, who is a Kiqi, returned to Auckland to raise their young family.


Running Blind takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster journey of a remarkable man's life thus far.  In his autobiography, Rob Matthews opens his heart and soul as he describes his gradual descent into a world of darkness and his determination to not allow his disability to hold him back; shares the exhilaration of competing; the joy and pride of winning and the frustrations of disqualification and failure; recalls the tremendous heartache of losing loved ones; and inspires with his ability to find the positive in all of life's challenges.

"If my life's journey has taught me one thing, it is not to give up.  I could have easily taken blindness as my lot in life, and used my lack of vision as an excuse to have a less than extraordinary life."

Whether you're a coach or an athlete, a teacher or a student, a parent or a child, a carer or  living with a disability, Running Blind will move and inspire you to embrace a positive attitude and to reach for the stars.

Reviewed by: Franciska


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