Brookline, MA (PRWEB) April 03, 2014
The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) has fielded Team With A Vision in the Boston Marathon for 21 years, and the 118th running of this historical event features many world-class athletes who are proving that with the right support, people who are visually impaired can do anything they set their minds to. Runners, both sighted and visually impaired, run for the Team to raise funds and awareness, and inspire others with disabilities.
Some visually impaired runners are among the top competitors in any Division, and have competed in other marathons, distance races, triathlons, ultra-marathons and more. These accomplished athletes will be competing in the Marathon’s Visually Impaired Division, one of just a handful of such divisions in the nation. There are more blind and visually impaired (VI) athletes registered for this year’s Marathon than for any other marathon in the United States.
"This is the strongest field of visually impaired runners we’ve had in our Team’s 21-year history,” said Barbara Salisbury, CEO of Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. “This is one of sport’s biggest stages, and these amazing athletes are shining a light on the potential of visually impaired people everywhere.”
This year’s Team With A Vision is led by a number of returning champions and nationally recognized runners, including:
Tina Ament – 3-time top-3 Boston Women’s VI Division finisher and the top-ranked physically challenged female Ironman athlete for 2013
Jennifer Herring – running her 11th consecutive Boston Marathon, placed top 3 in Boston Women’s VI Division every year for the last 10 years
Erich Manser – past top-3 Boston Men’s VI Division finisher and paratriathlete training for the Rio Paralympics
Adrian Broca – 2-time Boston Men’s VI Division winner, 5-time top-3 finisher, ultra-marathoner, featured in Runner’s World magazine
Kurt Fiene – previous Boston Men’s VI Division winner and top-3 finisher; holds Boston record for North American blind male at 2:43:44; has raced in world championships
Aaron Scheidies – winner of Boston Men’s VI Division last 2 years; eight-time triathlon World Champion and eight-time National Champion; training for the Rio Paralympics; created the “C Different with Aaron” foundation
Peter Sagal – host of the National Public Radio game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! since 1998, heard by nearly three million listeners; recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting; author of one book, numerous plays and screenplays; regular columnist for Runner's World, where he wrote about his experience as a sighted guide for 2013’s Team With A Vision and being near the finish line during the Boston Marathon bombings
Dr. David Crandell – self-described ”last responder” and director of the Amputee Program at one of Boston’s major hospitals, spent much of the last year treating victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this real-life hero works with his patients to teach them that having an amputation shapes you, but doesn’t define you; this April David will fulfill a lifelong dream to run the Boston Marathon, as a sighted guide for blind athlete Jennifer Herring
Richard Hunter – former Marine; qualified for and ran 2008 Boston Marathon; became 3rd visually impaired triathlete in North America to finish a half Ironman triathlon in less than 5 hours (4:49:42); credited with turning the California International Marathon into a destination race in the Visually Impaired National Marathon Championships
“These runners are competing for all visually impaired people, not solely for themselves,” added Salisbury. “They want to share their stories so more people know what disabled people are capable of, and see all of our disabled neighbors differently.”
With the Marathon less than a month away, the team has already raised more than $110,000. A generous anonymous donor has pledged to match up to $35,000 in corporate or foundation support, a challenge that has yet to be fully met.
Team With A Vision was created to raise funds and awareness for MABVI and to promote greater involvement of visually impaired runners in the race. The team is a proud member of the 2014 Boston Marathon John Hancock Non-Profit Program. MABVI works to show that disabilities, like other challenges, can be overcome in the world of sport, and by translation, in any setting.
ABOUT MABVI AND TEAM WITH A VISION
Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) is the oldest social service organization in the country that serves adults and elders who are blind or visually impaired. They provide vision rehabilitation services and partner with community and medical groups to create high-impact, cost-effective services. Team With A Vision (TWAV) was established to involve disabled runners in the Boston Marathon, as well as raise funds and awareness for the blind and visually impaired through MABVI. TWAV is an international team of blind, visually impaired, and sighted runners committed to race and raise funds for the cause. 2014 is the Team’s 21st year participating in the Boston Marathon.