Dangerous Vision Presents: From Miles to Marathons

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-uhxuw-cb79ff

In the latest episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen talks with Marla Runyan,  a former world-class American track and field athlete and marathon runner who is legally blind. At age nine, she was diagnosed with Stargardts disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration that causes progressive vision loss.

Randy and Marla talk about running, determination, and reinvention.  Her running career is impressive–Marla qualified for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials in the heptathlon, where she finished 10th but fell well short of making the Olympic Team. In 1992, Marla competed in her first of two Paralympic Games, and ultimately won 5 gold medals and set 9 world records in the T13 visually impaired classification. 

In 1996, Marla relocated to Eugene, Oregon and reinvented herself as a middle-distance runner. With a new coach and heightened focus, Marla won gold in the 1500-meters at the 1999 Pan-American Games and finished 10th in the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Seville, Spain.

Today Marla is the manager of the para-athletic division for the Boston Athletic Association.  The B.A.A., established in 1887, is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The Boston Marathon is one of many races put on by the B.A.A. For more information visit https://www.mabvi.org/resources/dangerous-vision/

 

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About mabvi

Pressing Need The number of seniors with low vision is expected to double by 2030, as the “baby boomers” experience sight loss such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Low vision makes it difficult to complete activities of daily living, puts elders at increased risk of falls, and complicates health care compliance. There is a pressing need for low vision services today more than ever, to ensure people with vision loss can continue to live the lives they want. Elders are the fastest-growing and most vulnerable population of persons with sight loss. Four of the five major causes of blindness are directly related to the aging process: age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. According to data published by the Commission for the Blind and the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, there are an estimated 105,000 elders in Massachusetts with serious sight loss who cannot receive state-funded services because they are not “legally blind.” Nevertheless, their vision impairment is serious, and without appropriate intervention, can have a devastating impact on their independence.

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