BENEFITING: Achilles International Inc.
Dear Friends, Many of you know that I have been involved with Achilles for a few years now. I became aware of them at my first New York City Marathon in 2011. Throughout the day I saw pairs and groups of runners in bright yellow shirts. Some of them were blind, some were in wheelchairs and some were guiding. They were eliciting some of the loudest cheering across all five boroughs! It was easy to see how much joy they all had doing it together. I wanted to know who they were and how I could get involved! I started as a volunteer runner at their biweekly Central Park runs. Over the years I have also been a previous Team Achilles member in the NYC Triathlon and then a guide for a blind runner in the NYC Marathon. They were unforgettable experiences and I took away so much from them. My runner was a 70 yr-old blind man who had only started running in his 60's after he retired. Within 10 years, he had completed several marathons AND Ironmans. Enough said, right?! Achilles provides training and support for blind and disabled athletes as well as veterans. Able-bodied volunteers and disabled runners come together to train in an environment of support and community. Within this community, runners gain measurable physical strength and build confidence through their sense of accomplishment, which often transfers to other parts of their life. I've seen firsthand what Achilles does for its members. Their objective is to bring hope, inspiration and the joy of achievement to all. They do that and more. The sense of community is so strong. There is so much love, support and fun! It's a beautiful organization doing incredible things for incredible people. Please help me in keeping Achilles going! Also - if you're around on July 16, come cheer on the Achilles athletes at the NYC Triathlon! Warmly, Jenn