Spring 2016
Welcome to the second United in Stride newsletter!

Thank you for being a part of our community! Have any story ideas, testimonials, events, or photos you want to share for future editions? Email us at krobidoux@mabcommunity.org!
United in Stride Celebrates
One Year Anniversary and Over 1,000 Users

Founder Richard Hunter in his United in Stride t-shirt
Founder Richard Hunter in his United in Stride t-shirt

One year ago, the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) teamed up with Richard Hunter to launch a new concept: United in Stride, an online database to match sighted guides with runners, joggers, and walkers who are visually impaired all over the United States and Canada.

As we celebrate our one year anniversary, we are happy to announce that we have just passed
1,000 registered users!

And for this we thank YOU - the United in Stride community has grown largely through word-of-mouth and grassroots efforts, and thanks to you more and more people are able to meet their fitness goals or help others do the same.

As we embark on our second year, we encourage you to continue spreading the word about United in Stride so that we can move even closer to our goal of everyone having access to a guide whenever and wherever they need one.

Thank you all, and happy running!
Eastern States 20 Mile Partners With MABVI
to Create 1st Visually Impaired Division

Runners in the 1st Eastern States VI Division and their guides pose before the race
Runners in the 1st Eastern States VI Division and their
guides pose before the race
Popular Boston Marathon training races the Eastern States 20 Mile and Run for the Border Half Marathon recently partnered with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) to create the first ever Visually Impaired Division. The races were held Saturday, March 26th, and included a number of members of MABVI's Team With A Vision as they prepare to run the Boston Marathon.

"Having a dedicated division is the epitome of inclusion," says Kyle Robidoux, one of the participants as well as MABVI's Director of Volunteer and Support Group Services, "so we are incredibly grateful to Eastern States for creating this opportunity."

Race Director Don Allison was equally excited to be able to offer more inclusion and recognition to these races:

"The addition of visually impaired athletes to the race this year is a great enhancement to the event," says Allison. "I have always been inspired by those who overcome physical challenges in order to participate in long distance running."

Do you know of any races that have recently created VI Divisions? Let us know! Email krobidoux@mabcommunity.org.
User Story
"I was contacted on United in Stride by someone who's returning to running and training for the B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association) 5k on Saturday. We went for a three mile run and she killed it! She was nervous at first but I assured her all she had to do was run and I'd make sure she was safe.
"We went through Boston Common and the public garden on a 5k loop with hill repeats. Her goal was to stay in the 10-11 minute mile range and she did that on a path that is harder and with more turns than the BAA 5K course. It's fun pushing someone and seeing them achieve goals, and it's so rewarding giving back to a sport that has given me so much!"
- Cory Gardner, United in Stride user

United in Stride in the Media

United in Stride has been featured in a number of podcasts recently, including:
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!

A black t-shirt with the United in Stride logo on the chest
"How do I find a guide if there are none registered near me?"

As United in Stride grows, more and more guides will be available in different locations, but you may find yourself in a situation where there are no guides registered on the site near you. So what do you do?

Think about where runners hang out and reach out to them there. Often, we find that runners simply aren't aware that the opportunity exists to be a sighted guide, but once they find out, they jump at the chance to give back and help a fellow runner reach their goals!  
  • Does your local running company or shoe store have a running group? If yes, reach out to them to see if they can help spread the word about your need for a sighted guide. Don't forget to provide them with a little bit of background about yourself (pace, where you run, etc.) to help them find a good match.
  • Is there a local running club that holds races who you could contact? For example, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) organizes the Boston Marathon, and they have a very active running program.
  • Is there a college nearby that has a track and field team or other teams (soccer players like to run!) that can help out? Contact the Athletic Director or Coach directly to see if they can help.
Don't Forget to Check Back!
Since its launch last spring, United in Stride has continued to grow, 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 sighted guide.
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!
Some of you may have recently received spam messages via our internal messaging system. We have worked with our IT team to identify and address this issue. Rest assured that no one's personal information has been accessed or compromised.

We take your trust and privacy very seriously, and are implementing measures to guard against spam moving forward, including reinstating email verification for new users. Please contact us if you continue to experience issues regarding spam or signing in going forward. Thank you for being a part of the United in Stride community.

United in Stride is powered by
the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired logo

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