Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sugar Land Christmas C5K

December 12, 2009 was a cold, windy, and dreary day in Sugar Land, Texas. Ross O'Dowd was excited about running in an event as a sighted guide for the first time ever. Music, chatter, and laughter filled the air as the talented individuals in charge had put together a wonderful event benefiting the C Different Foundation which exists to inspire, educate, and change the world. The race began and off we went. It was a narrow out and back course with several obstacles in the way of sharp turns, massive bunching of runners, and footing issues, but not major enough to present any danger. Ross and I who had never met until the day before decided to wear elf hats. This race was about having fun, being in the holiday spirit, and raising money for a wonderful organization. 300 runners raced the course. From a young girl who just started participating in athletics a few months ago to a World Champion Ironman athlete, Desiree Ficker, who was there to guide a blind runner, people of all abilities, ages, and sizes were out enjoying the course. Thirty-seven of the 300 runners were blind/visually impaired athletes of varying eye conditions and visual acuities. Most, not all, used sighted guides whose job it was to call out obstacles, warnings, and directions while talking to their runners and others along the course. This race was about having fun and learning to work together. Finishing time was not a concern. We coasted across the finish line in 31.53. We made sure to go easy because the next day, we'd be running a 30K (18.6 miles). A distance longer than either of us had ever run in our lives.

For more information on the C Different Foundation and to get involved either as an athlete, guide, volunteer log on to

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