Winter/Spring 2020 Newsletter
Gearing Up for the Boston Marathon
VI runner on left and his guide crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Guide has her arms victoriously raised
Warm greetings from United in Stride HQ in Boston, MA! We hope you are finding some time to get outside and explore during the winter months. It has been a mild winter here in New England (I’m sure we just jinxed that) and the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Team With A Vision are in full-blown Boston Marathon weekend mode.

Speaking of the Boston Marathon, United in Stride is thrilled to be hosting a networking and resource sharing lunch the Saturday of marathon weekend. We think this is a first-of-a-kind event in which we are inviting all Para-athletes (not just runners who are blind/VI) and organizations that support such athletes to network and meet one another. You are welcome to join us if you are in town but not running the marathon. Each organization will have a few minutes to talk about their programs and services. If you are affiliated with an organization that would like to present please contact Kyle at . RSVP for the event HERE
Welcome Chaz Davis
Chaz Davis running
We are on cloud nine to welcome Chaz Davis to the MABVI team! Chaz will be wearing several hats (or singlets?) splitting time between Team With A Vision, our Adjustment Counseling program, and United in Stride. For UIS, Chaz will be leading our outreach and training plan work as well as cultivating relationships with members of our community.

In December of last year, Chaz finished first at the California International Marathon as part of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes Championships with a finish time of 2:43:11 for the 3rd time since his then-record-setting time from his first California International Marathon in 2016. That 2016 race saw Chaz cross the line in a time of 2:31:48, setting a new American record for the T12/B2 visual impairment category.
In 2016, Davis won a spot on Team USA’s track and field team for the Rio Paralympics. He finished 8th in the 5000m and 10th in the 1500m in the 2016 Rio games, setting American records in both events. In 2018, Davis ran the 122nd Boston Marathon where he finished 5th among 15 notable 2018 Boston Marathon finishers with a time of 2:56:22, running as a member of Team With A Vision .
Get Your Training On
We are following up on our 5k training plan with this month’s 10k training plan! The talented Chaz Davis created this plan to support runners to complete 6.2 miles. We would love to hear your feedback about these plans so please let us know what you think.

Join the United in Stride
Street Ambassador Program
Two hands holding a sign that says Join Our Team
We are a small (but some would say mighty) staff so we need your support helping to grow the UIS network. In 2020 we are focusing on recruiting more runners and walkers who are blind/visually impaired while still working on getting new guides to create profiles. We are reaching out to local Lighthouse chapters, guide dog schools, NFB and ACB state chapters, and more to spread the word about UIS.
But we need your help. We are looking for Street Team Ambassadors in local communities to connect with local organizations, running clubs, and race directors. If you think you have the time and energy to help with this please contact Chaz Davis at
More Races with AWD/VI Divisions
Group of marathon runners including some VI runners and guides
We are excited to share the news that two trail and ultra races now have AWD/VI divisions. Through a partnership with the Las Vegas Achilles International Chapter and Nevada NFB chapter, the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival now welcomes runners of all abilities. Read more about it here and find more about the race here

The Vernal Equinox 24-12-8 Hour race in Ohio has also created an AWD Division! Check out the race here

Action Item: Reach out to Kyle Robidoux at i f you know of other races that have created inclusive divisions or if you want to work with a local race to create a division.
Member Story:
Meet Marcie Winkler
Marcie on the right is running with Troy who is b/vi on the left
We highlight one UIS user every newsletter and rotate between a runner who is B/VI and a guide. Let us know if you have a good story that we should share.  In this issue, we'd like to introduce you to Marcie Winkler from Seattle.

I first learned of United in Stride through my work with CLIF Bar. When I signed up to be a sighted guide with United In Stride just over a year ago, I was beyond nervous. Now, I realize those nerves were due to an unrealistic amount of pressure and responsibility I thought I would have as the sighted guide in our partnership. The reality of guiding is much different than my perception. We both have a responsibility to each other. I am the eyes, but Troy holds me accountable to get out sun, rain or snow. He keeps my mind off the miles and challenges me to keep training. In a lot of ways, he is the engine for our team. We are currently training for Troy’s first 10 miler and we have inspired another guide to join us. Altogether, Troy will have four people running with him on race day and a Physical Therapist and Personal Trainer who are helping his team get there.
UIS Runners in the News
Chaz Davis finished first at the United States Association for Blind Athletes Championship at the California International Marathon.

Team of blind runners joins Hood To Coast relay this year –  For the first time, a team of blind and visually impaired runners will tackle the Hood To Coast relay this year, with the help of running guides.

Vivienne Hau fixes retinas by day; now, she’s co-captain of the first-ever visually impaired Hood to Coast Relay team.
United in Stride was founded by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) as a tool to unite runners who are blind or visually impaired with sighted guides across North America. Our goal is to be a resource that eases the challenge of finding sighted guides close to home, or when traveling to another part of the country for vacation or a race. We believe that a robust, interactive sighted guide database will create more opportunities for the next generation of visually impaired runners.