Winter 2015/2016
Welcome to the first 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!
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.

Thank you!
User Story: "Sharing My Gratitude for Guides"
"Last weekend I was visiting Virginia for a family event. I had several hours of free time on Friday and wanted to spend it outdoors, as the weather has been unseasonably gorgeous!

"I reached out to the United in Stride page and connected with a great guide who picked me up at my hotel and spent four hours hiking and climbing with myself and my guide dog Lavender at Great Falls National Park.

"I would not have had the opportunity to experience this without her. Very grateful for our connection and the adventure that we shared!"

- Dee Char, United in Stride user 
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 and tell us!
Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women Partners with Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to Create Visually Impaired Division

Some of the competitors and guides from Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women_s inaugural Blind and Visually Impaired Division_ from left to right_ are_ Rebecca Tieri _guide__ Kate Katulak_ Joyce Cron_ Alex Lenz _guide__ Diane Berberian and Jen Butler _guide_ _Photograph_ Kevin Morris_
Some of the competitors from the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women's Visually Impaired Division, left to right: Rebecca Tieri (guide), Kate Katulak, Joyce Cron, Alex Lenz (guide), Diane Berberian, and Jen Butler (guide) (Photo: Kevin Morris)

On Columbus Day, for the first time in its 39-year history, the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women included a Visually Impaired Division thanks to a partnership between the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) and Tufts Health Plan.
With a finish of 46:51, 19-year-old Assumption College runner Michaela Flaherty from Norwell, MA, came in first. Rounding out the top three were Joyce Cron of Acton, MA, and Diane Berberian of Saint Petersburg, FL. Also competing were Kate Katulak of Brighton, MA, (1:19:42) and Jen Buchanan of Peabody, MA.
"The addition of this division affirms our continued commitment to promoting wellness for women and men of all abilities," said James Roosevelt Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Tufts Health Plan. "We are pleased to welcome a new division of dedicated athletes and appreciate all of the good work from our friends at MABVI."
MABVI and Tufts Health Plan are looking forward to expanding the race's Visually Impaired Division next year with more runners and even Braille printed on the awards.
MABVI also worked with Tufts Health Plan to match their employee volunteers as sighted guides for runners in the new VI Division. The competitors joined participants of all ages and abilities including elite athletes, wheelchair and hand cycle racers, recreational runners, and walkers, creating a truly inclusive race experience.
Learn more about this event in this article written by Megan Birch-McMichael and published on Runner's World's Zelle blog, entitled Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women Adds Blind and Visually Impaired Division.

Are you a runner and/or race director looking to start a Visually Impaired Division? Please contact us at and we will be happy to share our experience with you!
United in Stride Founder Richard Hunter in the News

United in Stride founder Richard Hunter poses with Klinger_ the first ever running guide dog _Photo_ Mark Liflander_
United in Stride founder Richard Hunter with Klinger, the first running guide dog
(Photo: Mark Liflander)

Our founder Richard Hunter has been all over the news lately along with his new running buddy - who also happens to be his new guide dog! Richard is the proud owner of Klinger, the first ever guide dog specifically trained to be a sighted running guide.
This pilot program came about when Richard connected with Guiding Eyes for the Blind CEO Thomas Panek, a fellow runner. If the pilot is a success, we could be having more and more sighted guides of the four-legged variety!
Learn more in these stories from CBS and People (the latter includes a nice mention of United in Stride!).
United in Stride User Dan Berlin Makes History

Left to right_ Alison Qualter Berna_ Charles Scott_  Dan Berlin_ and Brad Graff posing on the Inca Trail _Photo_ intrepidtravel.com_
Left to right: Alison Qualter Berna, Charles Scott, Dan Berlin, and Brad Graff posing on the Inca Trail (Photo:
Dan Berlin, a United in Stride user from Fort Collins, CO, recently completed an amazing challenge: hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu nonstop in less than 24 hours, making him the first athlete who is visually impaired to do so.
Dan made the journey with three of his good friends - Charles Scott, Alison Qualter Berna, and Brad Graff - serving as sighted guides. Typically this trail takes four days or more to do, but Dan and his guides made it in 23 hours and 58 minutes!
Previously, this same group, called Team See Possibilities, ran the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim and ran the Boston Marathon on Team With A Vision.

Learn more in these stories on Dan and his guides' Machu Picchu trek from the Denver Post and Yahoo! Travel.
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