I can still recall my first ever major race, and that was May 26, 2006- the New Balance Power Race held in Bonifacio High Street, I’m only a month old then in running and my official time was 54 minutes and 10 seconds. I cannot forget that race because along the route, I saw a runner, cheered by many-and he was being accompanied by his dog. At the finish line, he was acknowledged by the emcee, although he’s not in the top 10. What was in this man? Who was he? Why was he popular?
There’s also this female runner in the U.S.A, who was so adored in the running community and perhaps, by many people worldwide. Her name is Marla Runyan.
Born January 4, 1969 in Santa Maria California, she is an elite runner. Consider her PR:
- 2 Time U.S. Olympian, 2000 and 2004 (1500m and 5000m)
- Olympic Finalist, 8th place finish 1500 meters at the 2000 Olympic Games
- 3 Time Outdoor Track National Champion, 5000 meters 2001 – 2003
- 3 Time Road 5k National Champion, Freihofer’s Run for Women 2002-2004
- American Record, Indoor 5000m 15:07.33
- 2002 NYC Marathon, 4th Place, Top American 2:27.10
- 2003 Boston Marathon, 5th Place, Top American 2:30.33
- 2004 Chicago Marathon, 7th Place, Top American 2:28.33
- 2006 Twin Cities Marathon Champion, 2:32.17 (13 months after childbirth)
- 800m 2:03.18 (1999)
- 1500m 4:02.95 (2002)
- 3000m 8:39.36 (2002)
- 5000m 14:59.20 (2004)
- 10k road 31:46 (2002)
- 20k road 1:05.52 (2003)
- ½ Marathon 1:11.19 (2002)
- Marathon 2:27.10 (2002)
Amazing Isn’t it?
All of these accomplishments would be incredible for any normal athlete, but Marla Runyan is not a normal athlete. She is legally blind!
At the age of 9, Runyan was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration, the leading cause of legal blindness in the U.S. Her vision has deteriorated to 20/400 in both eyes classifying her as legally blind..
Runyan became an international star in 2000 as the first-ever legally blind track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games…one of the great success stories in U.S. track and field.
(Visit http://www.marlarunyan.com for complete details of her account.)
Wow, reading her stories inspired me greatly. Imagine running when you’re legally blind??? It seems there’s no finish line for her, and she continues to run. That’s really awesome!
In one interview, someone asked her, “If life is unfair?” and this was her reply:
“You have a choice. You can get angry or you can trust in the basic benevolence of the universe and the essential goodwill of people, and hope you don’t get hurt.”
And you can’t stop this woman to excel. She studied and finished with flying honors…
Degrees: BS Degree, Education of the Deaf
MS Degree, Education of Deaf-blind Children
San Diego State University
And authored a book from which I derived my title for today….
I salute you, Mam Marla Runyan. Your life is a blessing to me! I’m a normal athlete, and yet sometimes, I allow some negative thoughts to paralyze me and my thinking. Your life stories will inspire me further to continue and go on with this race- called LIFE! Yes, there’s no finish line until my life is over…and I must continue to run the race set before me, until He comes!
God be Praised!
By the way, I forgot to mention-the man with the dog I mentioned above running in the New Balance Power Race last 2006 -was also blind! And he was guided by his dog.
RUNNING TIPS: Run at least parts of an unfamiliar race course before the race. You’ll be far less nervous when the gun goes off.
LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: The story is told of Martin Luther one day answering a knock at his door. “Does Martin Luther live here?” the man asked. “No”, Luther answered, “he died. Christ lives here now.”