The 2017 New York City Marathon.

    Watching people run in the marathon is always more than exciting; it is exhilarating!  I attended the Marathon this year and was not disappointed. The charge of human spirit that sprinted by us one by one was energizing and incredible to watch.  One has to be pretty motivated to endure a 26.2-mile marathon and the spectators are a huge part of the runners’ experience.  Runners say the signs, cheers and shouts motivate them every step of the way.  

     Dick Tram was the first person to complete the New York City Marathon in 1976 with an artificial leg.  Dick is also the founder of Achilles International (formerly Achilles Track Club).  He founded the organization in order to motivate people with disabilities to participate in large races with the general public. Achilles is just one of the countless charitable organizations that has been working with physically and mentally disabled marathon hopefuls around the boroughs. The organization spends months and sometimes years training people to fight through their ailments and run those 26.2 miles. 

     The New York Road Runners Club, the group that organizes the New York City Marathon, has groups of volunteers. For example, sighted runners guide visually impaired runners through the Marathon. Crista Earl has been visually impaired, since early childhood, due to macular degeneration.  However, this has not stopped her from building a successful career or joining the Achilles Track Club.  When she joined the club, she forged ahead, and completed her first New York City Marathon with a sighted runner.  "I finished the race in four hours, 39 minutes and 25 seconds," said Crista.  "For the next marathon, I'd like to cut my time down and finish in less than four hours.”  

     Asim Baig said it best when he observed  " the end of the day, we realize that we all have segments of life where it doesn't matter if you're disabled or abled, you still have to overcome the same obstacles".

     Life is hectic, life can be challenging but with a vision, tenacity and dedication, we will all do pretty much whatever we dream of doing.  It is the spirit of human beings that enables and motivates us to search for purpose in life and 'Yes we can'!

Thank you so much for joining us today! 

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Credit: American Foundation for the blind and One Step At A Time - PIX 11

Gail KhanComment