As the first serious snowstorm of the season descends upon New England and much of the country, I’m ending a weekend of thanksgiving by sharing what’s next in some significant running goals to launch the 2020 calendar year.
On December 8, 2019, I make the seemingly annual pilgrimage to Sacramento for the California International Marathon where Richard Hunter has coordinated the United States Association of Blind Athletes to once again host the USABA National Marathon Championships. As the defending B1 champion, I have invited my longtime friend Rob Webber to guide me along the course in the hopes of competing with the many runners from around the country. We’ll have updates on our website and social media accounts for how you can follow our progress on race day… and in the meantime, we encourage you to meet the competitors!
I won’t have long to rest after my return from California as I’m determined to launch our signature year, 2020, with something a little special. Granted, a good showing at the National Marathon Championship would be a fine start, and yet as midnight arrives I wanted to ensure something a little more challenging and noteworthy.
In 2012 I undertook a 100-mile walk to support Future In Sight as part of their 100 years of service celebration at their Walk for Sight. In this era of running in my life, I’m planning to undertake an unusual ultra-marathon in which I’ll run 100 consecutive miles. My plan is to begin in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve and reach the halfway point by midnight. I hope not to stop at 50 miles though, but to continue running into the new year to finish in the late morning with 50 miles in each year. I’m planning to do all 100 miles on a treadmill.
Some may call it the “dreadmill” but I depend on it for many of my training miles and keeping a comfortable steady pace of 5 miles each hour will hopefully help me achieve my goal in 20 hours of running. We are finalizing partnerships for the location so stay tuned for more information on the where and how you might stay informed around your revelry.
Lastly, in my trifecta of immediate running plans, the Boston Marathon has announced the B1/T11 (totally blind) division for the first time ever. As such, I’m making the commitment to run under the Paralympic rules requiring a short soft tether for such competitions. I understand Boston is staging towards gathering the most elite athletes from around the world, including enhancing their visually impaired field in my division for the first time. It will be incredibly competitive and I’ve certainly had my struggles at Boston as well as my marathon personal record.
My long-time friend and frequent Boston guide, Jose Acevedo, has made the commitment to guide me and we’ve already begun our training with the new tether. My trip to Texas to train further with him in February is booked as we make every effort to ensure we are as best prepared as we can be for this inaugural opportunity. I certainly have no expectations of placing on such an epic stage but I do expect to give my absolute best to the attempt on April 20, 2020.
There are so many more things I hope to share with you as the New Year arrives, but I thought my vision for this trifecta deserved an early sharing as it follows on the heels of our final Peak Potential event where I shared some of these details and more. It is the strength of community and teamwork which ever guides me towards my goals. It is my gratitude for the people in my life encouraging me to climb higher and run further figuratively and literally which has enabled 2020 Vision Quest to be so successful. Thank you all!