The Vision 5K—Unique Challenge and Awesome Fun for Everyone
One of the most unique sporting events in the Boston Region, the Vision 5K is for everyone from elite runner to beginning walker, and it is the National Championship for blind and visually impaired runners.
Posted Tuesday, 6 May, 2008
Here comes the Vision 5K, a truly unique race with many dimensions. Of course it is the National Championship for Blind and Visually Impaired Athletes sanctioned by the USABA, the United States Association of Blind Athletes, but it is also a 5K for all runners of every pace. And they welcome walkers too. There is so much packed into just one event, it is one of those unique celebrations of sport and family fun. Many make it a yearly priority—a “do not miss” calendar standout.
This year, in addition to the National Championship, this event includes the Blindfold Challenge, sighted runners running with blindfolds to test their intestinal fortitude, and the CEO Challenge, business leaders running blindfolded and spearheading fundraising efforts. The blindfolds will definitely give runners a unique perspective on their sport—and what it takes to succeed in unusual circumstances. The CEO Challenge offers companies and business leaders a wonderful opportunity to get involved in their community. This is a team-building challenge more effective than those outings and expensive consultants. Building morale within the company is easy—just run this race and raise funds for a very worthwhile cause.
The Vision 5K includes a Community Walk, a Kids’ Fun Run, a regional Competitive 5K for all runners, outstanding post race party with delicious foods from local restaurants, and a picnic atmosphere in the beautiful Back Bay Fens. To top it off, marathon legend Bill Rodgers will be participating as a guide runner and mingling with everyone before and after the race. You must set aside Saturday, June 7 for this unique 5K experience. It is a flat and fast 5K through a legendary part of the Running Capital of the World, Boston.
Events with a Blind and Visually Impaired Division are very rare. This is one race created specifically for the purpose of showcasing the talents of these athletes. But it is also an event to showcase Community Spirit and camaraderie where sighted runners participate in solidarity with visually impaired athletes, running together for a common goal: Raising critically needed funds and, as importantly, community awareness for the five wonderful organizations that serve the blind and visually impaired. Those organizations include The Carroll Center for the Blind; MAB Community Services; National Braille Press; New England Eye Institute-New England College of Optometry; and Perkins School for the Blind.
This event, which may bid to be a World Championship for blind and visually impaired runners in the near future, offers $7,600 in prize money plus honoraria for the lead runners who accompany the top five women and men.
This multi-faceted event will be held in the wonderfully scenic Fenway area of Boston. It will run near legendary and venerable Fenway Park, near the impressive Museum of Fine Arts, and the famous Fens. It is a terrific area for running and for the unusually delicious and festive post race food. Check out the Website for directions, or better yet take the famous T to get there. This will be the second year at this venue, which proved ideal last year when nearly seven hundred runners—including over eighty teams—and several hundred walkers took to the course for the annual championship and celebration. For some visually impaired runners this will be their first race--first opportunity to race.
The start, finish, and post-race will be at Roberto Clemente Field in the Fenway area between Fenway Park and the Museum of Fine Arts, just off of Park Drive. Registration will open at 8:00 a.m., the race is at 10:00, and the “Food Court” opens at 11:00 a.m. The kids will have their fun run following the main event, and each will receive a T-shirt and finisher’s medal.
Can’t Beat the Post Race Food and Atmosphere
Good music, great food, and memorable fun during and after the race bring runners and walkers back year after year. And those terrific sponsors you see on the Website really make it worthwhile to attend this annual celebration of fitness. Check out the sponsors and just imagine the tasty treats awaiting you after this enjoyable run--ice cream, chowder, hotdogs, and much more—don’t miss it. You will love the festive party and really enjoy all the foods offered.
Great Organization and Chip Timing
Dave McGillivray, who also directs the Boston Marathon along with his terrific organization, Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises (DMSE), will manage all aspects of the race. McGillivray, of course, is a running legend himself.
Dave is also the author of a book, “The Last Pick: The Boston Marathon Race Director’s Road to Success.” It was co-authored by Linda Fechter (and previewed in this space). Dave has embraced this event and understands how through athletics, people can overcome obstacles and accomplish much more than others would believe possible.
McGillivray once ran the B.A.A. Boston Marathon blindfolded to raise money for the Carroll Center for the Blind where a family member worked at the time.
Granite State Race Services will handle the timing, and their Championchip system will insure accurate and timely results for all participants—as long as they place that chip on their shoe.
Volunteers Join the Cause and Enjoy the Fun
An event like this needs many volunteers. From set up to cleanup, course monitoring, water stops, food distribution, guide runners, and registration help—this is an event that everyone can get involved in—and enjoy. This is a community effort in every sense of the word, so if you are a family member of a participant, don’t just stand around, get involved. That feeling of participation and contribution will stay with you—and the food is good too. If you can help, please call 617-732-0264, or e-mail contact@vision5K.org.
Just Be There
Whatever your role on race day—elite athlete, experienced runner going for a personal best, a beginning visually impaired runner, new sighted runner, walker, or volunteer, come on out on June 7 and have a terrific time at Fenway Show your support for these vitally important organizations and for blind and visually impaired athletes. You will be inspired and awed by their performances, and will come away with a different “view” on the running community. Enjoy the competition, enjoy the camaraderie, and enjoy the food and party. You will have fun! Guaranteed! This is one race and celebration you will definitely not want to miss—great competition and a terrific atmosphere. It’s a celebration for the entire community. Don’t miss it.
For more information on participation, the Blindfold Challenge, the CEO Challenge, guiding, volunteering, and registration, go to the race website: www.Vision5K.org.