A message from graduate Richard Hunter:
Dear Athlete Friends with Vision Impairment,
Every once in a while, I feel compelled to blast out an email to every visually impaired athlete I know. For those of you who have met me in person, you know I’m quite passionate about helping visually impaired runners get off the treadmill and get outdoors running with sighted guide volunteers. I’ve seen first hand how bringing together visually impaired athletes has an exponential benefit to many. The better networked we are, the better chance we have to help a parent of a visually impaired child see their child in a different light or help a fellow visually impaired person become less isolated through engagement in sport. Because of various organizations and events supporting the B/VI community, and do to social media, we are all positioned better than ever before to transform societal expectations of the capabilities of those with vision loss.
I continue to coordinate the visually impaired division of the California International Marathon (CIM). We routinely have around 50 B/VI runners of all ability levels and over 70 sighted guides take part. If you haven’t been to the CIM before, I hope you’ll consider making it a bucket list event. I pride myself on making it a Best Practice sort of event with logistical and financial support with a host of social opportunities. The registration opens on March 1. If interested, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, United in Stride (www.unitedinstride.com) continues to expand it’s registered users. If you have not yet created a free profile, check it out. It’s the only online database of it’s kind in the United States to unite sighted guides and blind runners through a zip code find a partner function. We also recently launched a guide tutorial video which can be found on the homepage front and center. Most recently, we added content under the resources tab to give race directors step by step instructions on how to add a visually impaired division to their race. More and more races are doing so and you can find races closest to you with a VI division by going to United in Stride.
Many of you know about my guide dog Klinger who became the first ever certified dual purpose running guide dog. Yes, many run with their guide dog, but Guiding Eyes for the Blind now has a full fledged program to allow you to run with your guide dog without sneaking:) There are over a dozen certified running guide dogs now and quite a few runners on the waiting list. If interested in learning more, shoot me a message.
There is a growing number of visually impaired runners competing in both Ironman and ultra-marathons. This past year both Kyle Robidoux and I joined the 100-mile endurance run finisher’s club, and others have their sight on this distance as well. After all, if Jason Romero can run across the USA in 59 days, perhaps we too can set the bar just a tad higher in our own goals. If you are also on the ultra marathon journey, shoot me a message so I can fold you into the mix.
Below is information Dare2tri asked me to share about some upcoming triathlon camps.
Dare2tri Injured Military Camp (for blind and visually impaired veterans) June 1-3, 2018 in Hammond, IN http://www.dare2tri.org/injured-military-camp/
Dare2tri Paratriathlon Training Camp (for anyone with a visual impairment or blindness) June 8-10 in Pleasant Prairie, WI http://www.dare2tri.org/paratriathlon-training-camp/
Scholarships and travel stipends available. For more information or questions contact Keri Serota – email@example.com