Guiding for BlindStart

Can you imagine running the LA Marathon if you couldn’t see? What about if you were blindfolded? BLINDSTART is a non-profit that provides opportunities for the blind to participate in exciting and challenging events like the LA Marathon, the Blind Mud Run or competitive Dragon Boat Racing and rebuild confidence and independence.

Funds raised are given to blind and visually impaired people who are working to better their lives through education or job development.

When I started running bigger events I saw blind runners on the course being led by a guide & thought “I would love the opportunity to do that”.  A couple of weeks ago I came across a post on instagram about a charity called Blind Start that was looking for a last minute guide for the Los Angeles Marathon & immediately started sending out emails.  I was lucky enough to be the first volunteer and was paired with a runner for LA!   I’m excited to be able to share my love of running and marathoning with another person in that setting.  We will be holding a little rope with handles on each side to keep us together and my job will be to keep him aware of what we are around and road conditions, hills, water stations, chili dog stops, etc.

A few nights ago I had the opportunity to talk with Tony on the phone and discuss his race goals and strategies to ensure his success on race day.  LA 2016 will be his 3rd marathon and he’s hoping to beat his PR of 4:55 set last December at CIM in Sacramento.

As part of the guiding program I agreed to fundraise for BlindStart with a goal of $400 over the next few weeks leading up to the Los Angeles Marathon. Yes, that means I’m fundraising for 2 charities at once for LA.  If you feel compelled to help me reach that goal and guide Tony from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier you can donate by clicking the link below.

Run8va on Crowdrise

Here a few insights to Blind Start and their organization.

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BLINDSTART was founded in 2006 by Brian Tom, a visually impaired entrepreneur. Always wanting to be first, he and his growing team of supporters offered the first blind/blind-folded mud run in 2009. The next year, BLINDSTART became the first blind dragonboat racing team at the Long Beach Dragonboat Festival. Our events bridge the gap between the blind and sighted, and give our participants an insight into two different worlds. We liberate blind individuals by having events through which they can participate in mainstream activities and raise awareness of blindness in America.

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Our mission is to provide scholarships for blind and visually impaired persons (VIPs) to develop job skills to enable them to ultimately lead lives of independence. These scholarships provide education, training, communication, transportation, adaptive equipment and technology.