Winter 2017
Welcome to the United in Stride newsletter!

Thank you for being a part of our community, and we hope you all had a great summer! Have any story ideas, testimonials, events, or photos you want to share for future editions? Email us at krobidoux@mabcommunity.org!
Don't Forget to Check Back!
 
United in Stride keeps on growing, with more and more users signing up every week. If it's been awhile since you last searched for runners near you, remember to keep checking the site - there could be someone new who would love to connect up with you! 
 
And of course, keep spreading the word about United in Stride so we can continue to expand and move towards our goal of ensuring that no one is unable to meet their fitness goals because they cannot find a guide. Reminder: Walkers are welcome, too! 
Upcoming VI Races/Events 

Looking for your next race? We can help! Check out our list of races with a VI division and let us know if there are any we should add that we are missing! Support a race near you with an official VI Division! 


Interested in approaching a race about establishing a Visually Impaired Division? If you would like any tips, advice, or assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to us! Contact Kyle Robidoux at  krobidoux@mabcommunity.org.


Training and Support from United in Stride


We're here to help!
We love when local running groups or clubs want to reach out and engage more guides and runners who are blind or visually impaired, so if you would like any help in doing so, let us know!

We here at United in Stride are available to provide advice or assistance, either by phone, email, or (if possible) even in-person trainings.

If you are interested or would like to learn more about how we can help, please contact Kyle Robidoux at krobidoux@mabcommunity.org.  
Runner Spotlight: Brian Hurley 

When and why did you start running?

I started running as a way to get healthier and lose weight in 2014. I did not mind running and kept doing it. Then I ran a 5k and 10k with a friend who was my first guide. I really enjoyed getting outside, competing and finishing a race.

Is there a figure in your life that inspires you to keep on running? 

Not really.  To be honest, this is a totally selfish endeavor and I keep running because I enjoy it.

Where is your favorite place to run? 

On the beach.  Always feels good and the sand is much more forgiving than a road or sidewalk.

What was your toughest race? 

Any race, which are most, that start in the dark. I have a little bit of central eyesight, but it is negated at night. Add a crowd at the starting line and it is always tough.


What has been your biggest obstacle getting to this point in your running career, and what was the motivation to get over the hump? 

Finding folks to train and run with me on a regular basis. It has been easier to find people to guide in races. I overcome the training guides by doing more treadmill sessions or going to a known obstacle outdoor location.


Guiding Tip
 
Are you and your guide running your first race together? Running a race is very different than a training run so here are some items to think about:

  • Establish an accessible meeting place that both the guide and runner can get to
  • Discuss where in the start corral you want to start (up front, middle, back), and plan your schedule accordingly
  • What is your race strategy and how (if at all) can your guide support you in this. Do you want/need them to keep track of your pace? In addition to guiding you, are you comfortable with the guide coaching/motivating you
  • What is your water stop strategy? Stop at everyone, skip the first couple? Do you want to water or another type of drink (if offered). Make sure your guide stays hydrated, too.
  • Where are you meeting friends/family post-race?
And don't forget to enjoy your race! 

Support United in Stride, Get a T-Shirt!
 
Would you like to support United in Stride and look amazing while doing it? Any donation of over $50 gets you an exclusive United in Stride t-shirt!

United in Stride t-shirt
Holman Prize 

 Our friends at LightHouse for the Blind  in San Francisco let us know about The Holman Prize, which will support the ambitions of blind and low vision people worldwide with prizes up to $25,000. 

LightHouse's inaugural 2017 prizes will provide financial backing for as many as three individuals to explore the world and push their limits through travel, connections, creation and communication. The ideal candidate is someone who is willing to probe their environment and savor the richness of a world that is so often thought of as inaccessible to the blind. 

The contest begins with a challenge: blind applicants must submit a first-round pitch, in the form of a 90-second YouTube video. 

We Want to Hear From You!
 
United in Stride is only made possible due to the wonderful community joined together by a shared love of staying active, so we want to hear your stories!
 
Tell us your personal stories of using United in Stride - did you meet a new running buddy? Did someone you matched with help you reach a new goal or milestone? Let us know!
 
Also: are there any upcoming events involving runners who are visually impaired that you would like to share? Or any other news you think the community of guides and runners would be interested in?
 
Email krobidoux@mabcommunity.org and tell us!
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the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
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