Former Special Forces officer to be AF Marathon featured speaker

The 2017 Air Force Marathon’s guest speaker will be retired U.S. Army Maj. Ivan Castro, who sustained life-threatening injuries during 2006 combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Despite being blinded in both eyes, Castro defied the odds by battling back from his injuries, remaining on active duty and subsequently becoming the first blind graduate of the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Contributed photo)

caption arrowCaption
The 2017 Air Force Marathon’s guest speaker will be retired U.S. Army Maj. Ivan Castro, who sustained life-threatening injuries during 2006 combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Despite being blinded in both eyes, Castro defied the odds by battling back from his injuries, remaining on active duty and subsequently becoming the first blind graduate of the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Contributed photo)

Former U.S. Army Special Forces officer and published author Ivan Castro will be the guest speaker for the 21st Air Force Marathon Sept. 16 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Castro is a highly decorated U.S. Army officer who lost his eyesight in a mortar blast while deployed to Iraq in 2006. After a 17-month rehabilitation he returned to duty and until his retirement in 2016 was the only blind Special Forces soldier in the service.

Explorehttp://www.daytondailynews.com/news/wpafb-ready-host-21st-air-force-marathon/yX5FmqJ2JlbeFNXP8NneIJ/

Castro has completed more than 80 marathons, including the Chicago, New York, Marine Corps and Air Force Marathons. He has also cycled across America and hiked 200 miles across Antarctica. Currently he is assembling a team to trek to the North Pole in April 2018.

Castro co-authored a book on his life titled “Fighting Blind: A Green Beret’s Story of Extraordinary Courage,” which details his war experiences and struggles with blindness

“We are so excited to have Ivan as our guest for this year’s race,” said the Race Director Rob Aguiar. “He has such an inspirational story and has overcome so much. I think runners are going to enjoy hearing what he has to say.”

Castro will speak at the Sports and Fitness Expo, Breakfast of Champions and at the gourmet pasta dinner.

About the Author