Mike, a former Royal Navy pilot and founder of his own ballooning company, is an amazing man who lost his sight three years ago. He achieved five British Hot Air Balloon Duration records and is one of only nine British Pilots to fly a hot air balloon above 31,000ft which he did (31,967ft) in a builder's bag instead of a basket to save weigh. He twice won the GB Long Jump Long Distance Balloon Competition flying 231 and 187 miles non-stop. He has been recognised with the Royal Aero Club Bronze medal for Ballooning. In November 2007 Mike lost 85 per cent of his sight through a hereditary condition of which he was unaware. Despite this massive setback, Mike has gone on to even more inspirational achievements. In December 2008, aged 55, he ran his first marathon in 3hrs 18mins. Then in January 2009 he skied with Blind Veterans UK, the charity for blind ex-servicemen and women, in the Dolomites including black runs. In April 2009 he ran the London Marathon finishing in 3hrs 7mins and he has completed two Olympic Distance Triathlons. Still fearless and undaunted by his handicap, in April 2010 Mike raised over £13,000 for Blind Veteratns UK by trekking to the north pole, camping on the shifting ice for 10 nights. Then, this June he walked all day and night from London to Brighton, covering 100kms in 22hrs, again for Blind Veterans UK. His grit, stamina and overcoming of adversity is inspirational and he continues to spreads his vision by giving motivational talks to schools and clubs.