Sunday, April 20, 2008

Globe profiles fastest blind runners in America as they prepare for Boston Marathon

Adrian Broca, 31, the fastest blind marathoner in the USA, will defend his title April 21 in the Boston Marathon's visually impaired division, The Boston Globe reported April 20. He will compete against 19 blind or visually impaired runners, 15 men and 4 women.

Broca will be allowed four guides to assist him through the race. He also hopes to finish within 2 hours and 46 minutes to meet the qualifying standard for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

"When I run with my legs really turning, I feel alive," Broca said. "It's liberating. Once I hear the gun go off, I forget about being visually impaired and feel like any other runner out there who has one goal in mind."

The Globe reports that "Broca's toughest competition will come from Kurt Fiene, the second-fastest visually impaired US marathoner, with a personal best of 2:52:55. Like Broca, Fiene knows the Boston Marathon is his last, best opportunity to qualify for the Paralympics."

It's a good in-depth story on these talented athletes, but I think it would have been a better story without the several pointed references, including the headline ("Chasing glory they can feel, not see"), to their inability to see where they are running.