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home > news > usa: west > blind and visually impaired runners hit the pavement at the california international marathon

Blind and Visually Impaired Runners hit the Pavement at The California International Marathon
Blind and Visually Impaired Runners hit the Pavement at
The California International Marathon

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Posted Wednesday, 7 November, 2012

In partnership with VSP® Vision Care, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to host the 4th Annual USABA Marathon National Championship, which will be held in conjunction with the California International Marathon (CIM) on December 2, 2012 in Sacramento, Calif. Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director said, “The city of Sacramento and the race organizers exceeded all expectations of last year’s race ensuring that USABA athletes had a quality competition and event. We look forward to another outstanding race!”

In 2007, a small group of passionate athletes and volunteers helped create the first USABA Marathon National Championship and today, this event has become one of the premier distance running destinations for runners who are blind and visually impaired. The course provides runners and their guides a very fast, point-to-point, net-downhill marathon with a spectacular finish in front of the California State Capitol. The California International Marathon is certified and sanctioned by USA Track & Field and is a Boston Marathon qualifier and an Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier.

Currently, USABA has 17 blind or visually impaired runners from the United States and three runners from other counties signed up to finish a full marathon as well as five relay teams, including two military teams. These numbers far exceed past years and goals for this year’s marathon, with the years to come USABA and VSP® Vision Care only expect growing participation. Richard Hunter, Blinded USMC Veteran stated, “The USABA Marathon National Championships, sponsored by VSP® Vision Care, is the highlight of the year for many athletes. It is great to be able to get to know other runners with vision loss. With the assistance of over 40 sighted guides, we are able to inspire, educate and change the public’s perception of those with vision loss.”

Athletes can expect a first class experience and are afforded the opportunity to take part in a pre-race pasta banquet, logistics assistance, pre and post-race support and awards. Thanks to the support of VSP® Vision Care and private donors, USABA is providing funding to offset expenses for USABA members. Funding will be made available to select North American runners as well as a limited number of international runners.

USABA would like to thank VSP® Vision Care for sponsoring the 2012 USABA Marathon National Championship as well as the following donors for their support: Schermer, Bechtold and Roger Eyecare, Rocky and Kim Camp, Every Man Jack and Folsom Lake Lions Club.

For more information about USABA please visit and for more information about VSP Vision Care visit



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