25 Jul Austin Marathon® Introduces Visually Impaired Runner Division
High Five Events is excited to introduce the Visually Impaired Division for the 2017 Austin Marathon® presented by NXP. There are numerous endurance runners who have varying degrees of visual impairments. The Austin Marathon’s Visually Impaired Division will highlight these athletes, work with their guides to provide a safer race experience, and adhere to guidelines set forth by the United States Association of Blind Athletes.
William Greer is the Austin Marathon’s Visually Impaired Division Coordinator. Greer is also the Film Festival Director for the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and an accomplished endurance runner. Greer has completed 14 marathons, including Boston, Chicago, and Austin. He recently finished third in his age group at his first ultramarathon, the SARR Prickly Pear 50K Trail Run.
“I’m thrilled to be involved with the Austin Marathon’s new division,” said Greer. “ I, like many blind and visually impaired athletes, have the speed and endurance to finish a marathon. Having a sighted guide allows me to focus on my stride and pace without worrying about following the course correctly.”
Athletes registering for the Austin Marathon’s Visually Impaired Division will go through the same registration process and select either Visually Impaired Athlete or Guide when prompted. Visually Impaired athletes will then select their classification; guides will select “Guide.” Classifications are B1, B2, and B3 and are determined by the United States Association of Blind Athletes. Upon successful registration, runners need to send their classification certification to Greer, email@example.com. The certification can come from a doctor or low vision specialist. Athletes that have questions or are looking for more information can contact Greer.
“We’re thrilled to introduce this new division and have William lead the charge,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “Providing equal access and a safe opportunity will allow these athletes to focus on their race and time and not worry about their safety or straying off course.”
Photo of William Greer’s 3rd place age group finish at the SARR Prickly Pear 50K.