The Sacramento Running Association is proud to sponsor the Vision Impaired Championship in 2013 in conjunction with the California International Marathon.
The SRA and CIM also thank Dr. Michael Schermer and his staff for their generous sponsorship of the CIM Vision Impaired division.
Read below for more information about the Vision Impaired division at the CIM and read some inspiring stories about some of our past and present vision impaired runners.
For more information on the United States Association of Blind Athletes and information regarding guide running go to usaba.org.
We received the following notes from our visually impaired runners and guides on the 2011 CIM. A very inspiring group of people!
Chris Morrison (Rose Sarkany’s guide)
Reading the messages so far reminds me of the depth of feeling expressed both at the CIM pasta dinner, and the awards ceremony after the event.
What an incredible journey it was, is, and will undoubtedly continue to be, I consider it a great honor and privilege to have run the last 2 CIM's as Rose's guide. May I say from the first moment we began gathering on Saturday morning it was obvious all VI athletes and guides shared a common bond, one which I feel is a 'marriage' of 2 people based on complete trust. The young of SAC Track & Field were most impressive I hope they continue to hone their obvious talents and to see them again in future events. To be able to share the event with the competing veterans was indeed another honor I will cherish.
To those who gave of their time freely and without expectation THANK YOU I hope you will forgive me for singling out Heidi (Richard’s wife) who even at 5am after what must have been an exhausting weekend schedule was a person full of our shared excitement. The support of Dr Schermer a man of few words but many deeds is to be admired.
Richard and Rich, I thank you both for making this another magical event, your passion is awesome, with which this event can only grow and be a real showcase for others.
Now if you could arrange to send us some sunshine that would be really great...Rose and I are already looking forward to 2012 when we plan to return for a spot on a relay team. Yes Rich we are already actively coercing and cajoling others from Canada to join us at the start.
Warm Regards, from a rather cold and frosty British Columbia.
Chris Morrison (guide and friend to Rose Kamma-Sarkany)
Amy McDonaugh (VI Full Marathon)
I want to start by thanking Richard Hunter who does a fabulous job bringing VI runners together while encouraging and inspiring them. He tracked me down and invited me to the CIM, then he and his wife Heidi hosted Jim and I at their home. We are deeply grateful. The USABA and CIM did a fabulous job in incorporating the VI division into the marathon. I just recently heard of the USABA but since I have joined I have been made to feel welcome and accepted and my life has been enriched because of them.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my 3 guides who made this marathon the best I have experienced for me. I really have no words to fully express my heartfelt thanks to Kyle, Benny, and Chris. I have never received such a selfless act of service before. Because of them I was able to run with more confidence, keeping relaxed, without any fear. I started with Kyle who ended up running 2 extra miles with me, when he left it almost felt like a relationship was being severed. Then Benny ran the next 8 miles with me and I felt the same way when it was time for him to go because they really were doing a fantastic job of guiding me. Chris was there for me on every one of those most painful steps of a marathon, and he was there with me at the most joyous part. Kyle, Benny and Chris were all at the finish and never left my side till they took full care of getting my bag, food and sharing in my joy. I owe my performance to them. I wish them all the best in their running and schooling, and I would be overjoyed if my children turned out like them.
Blessings to you,
Tom Monroe (Blinded Veteran Relay Participant)
In describing guides…
Our young generation of patriotic athlete/citizens made us feel proud of them!
Aaron Scheidies (VI Full Marathon)
The experience I had at the CIM Marathon was exceptional. It was so great for me to race not only with other blind and visually impaired athletes but also with a strong field of great competition. The support from around the community, especially from the Sacramento State Cross Country team, was amazing. I could hear the excitement and gratification in every guide’s voice that they were doing something that was life changing to others in the community.
Stephanie Anne Timmer (Blinded Veteran Marathon relay)
What I fear about running a marathon is not the 26.2 miles; it is everything else!
Being a very low vision runner – running a marathon can be a challenge. It is not the 26.2 miles that worries me it is, finding my way to the starting line in the morning, navigating the expo to find your packet, getting to the end of the race and trying to find your way to where you checked your bags. The California International Marathon has eliminated many of the challenges that I have when going to marathons, and letting me focus on running the 26.2 miles. This year was the best yet. They had a heated VIP tent that VI runners could stay in until the race. You can go out as a group so you get in the right spot instead of being put in the back with the walkers – or if you are a walker, they will make sure you get there. There was a VIP tent at the finish; we were provided red ribbons to tie our bags with so that our checked stuff was brought directly to that tent. Mine was the only bag that did not make it, but they went and got it for me!
This is the second of hopefully many years running the CIM. I can’t finish until I say something about my running guide. This was the first year I ran with a guide, and I will never run without one again. Justin was awesome, I was part of a relay team and we found ourselves passing many runners. I would have gotten hurt or even worse hurt someone else had it not been for Justin – thanks for making the race one of the best I have run.
Stephanie Anne Timmer
Erich Manser (VI Full Marathon)
An excerpt of the note sent to his guides Jon and Emily Klingensmith…
SINCERE thanks to you both again, what a blast, and truly fulfilling experience forging such bonds! It's really like fast-forwarding the process of friendship, isn’t it? The Guide/VI Athlete relationship really seems to fast-track a sense of lifelong friendship! :)