NWABA Athletes Inspires Staff Member to Run a 10K
On Sunday, September 17, WHY Racing Events hosted a Run for America run as a way for community members in the Vancouver area to raise funds for the victims of natural disasters in Huston, Florida, California, Montana, and of course, the Columbia River Gorge. Runners and walkers alike gathered in downtown Vancouver, WA to prepare for 5K, 10K, and half marathons. There was not an entry fee to run, but American Red Cross representatives were on hand, accepting donations. Additionally, WareHouse 23 donated 50% of its brunch proceeds to the cause.
Northwest Association for Blind Athletes was excited about the opportunity to facilitate getting our athletes involved in the community event, so we called on volunteers and athletes to attend and participate for the cause. One of the athletes who arrived early Sunday morning was Prateek. Prateek is an avid runner, hiker, and NWABA all-star. So, he was naturally disappointed when the volunteer he was supposed to run the 10K could not make it.
In steps Krista, one of NWABA’s Program Specialists. Krista, a self-identified “jogger”, had never ran a 10K before, but she was up for the challenge. As they were preparing, Krista warned Prateek that they might have to stop a few times throughout the race. However, when they got out there with the other runners, there was no need to stop. With Prateek behind her, cheering (and chatting) her on, Krista felt empowered to keep going. “It was so motivating guiding Prateek,” Krista said, “He really pushed me to do something I never thought I would do.” They finished their 10 K in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Krista and Prateek have hiked and biked together before, but this was their first run. Prateek has advanced orientation and mobility skills, so his preferred running adaptation is for a sighted guide to run about two feet ahead of him with bells tied to their shoe. This allows him to hear what is ahead of him, and he is able to follow along at the same pace. Other athletes that day walked and jogged with other volunteers using tethers and Seeing Eye dogs.
Our staff members are not immune to being inspired by NWABA athletes. Staff, volunteers, and community members are continuously impressed with the effort and drive our athletes bring to each program event. NWABA is honored to be able to help give these athletes the opportunity to give it their all, because at the end of the day, the athletes inspire us to give it our all too.