With the New York marathon only days away, the thousands of participants are all doing one thing – waiting for the race in anticipation, even more so this year than usual with Sandy wreaking havoc on the city. There will be all kinds of people who toe the start line – young, old, experienced marathoners, newbies, and everywhere in between. There is one group that I want to point out that is truly exceptional – The Achilles Runners.
If you have ever ran a marathon, you have most likely seen them. They are runners that may not be able to complete the race by themselves, so they have the aid of a guide on race day. They could be blind, an amputee, or have a number of other disabilities. Here is a little bit more about them, from the Achilles International website:
“Today, this non-profit organization has chapters and members in over 65 locations within the United States and abroad. Every day, in parks, gyms, and tracks all over the world, Achilles provides athletes with disabilities with a community of support. Able-bodied volunteers and disabled runners come together to train in an environment of support and community. Within this community, runners gain measurable physical strength and build confidence through their sense of accomplishment, which often transfers to other parts of their life.”
The reason that I am writing today’s post is to give a shout out to a good friend of mine, Dee. She is running the NYC marathon this weekend for the 3rd time – not to earn a PR, but to be a guide for an Achilles runner. She is going to give it her all on race day to help get someone else across the finish line. Someone who may not have ever dreamed they could do such a thing.
I am so proud to call you my friend Dee and can’t wait for you to finish another marathon! If you are running the New York Marathon or spectating, look out for all the Achilles’ runners and guides and give them a shout. They are doing something pretty amazing!