Five reasons why you should run a 5K race (blindfolded)

It’s a chance to challenge yourself. Amaze your friends. And help children who are blind.

A blindfolded runner and sighted guide run together in the 2013 Blindfold Challenge in Boston.

You have an opportunity to do something extraordinary – run five kilometers blindfolded to help people who are blind.

All you have to do is join the official Perkins team and run the Blindfold Challenge at the B.A.A. 5K race, in Boston on Saturday, April 18, 2015. You’ll run with 10,000 or so other participants in the race. Only, unlike most of those runners, you’ll do it blindfolded.

As a member of Team Perkins, you’ll raise funds for programs that give people who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired with other disabilities a fighting chance to reach their full potential in life. We’re now accepting applications for our team, and we invite you to sign up today.

Wait a second! Reality check. Is it really a good idea to run through downtown Boston, blindfolded, unable to see a single step you take? Yes it is. Here’s why:

  1. You’ll erase the word “can’t” from your vocabulary. When you cross the finish line, you’ll discover that courage was the only roadmap you needed, and that the shortest distance between “can’t” and “can” is what’s inside your heart.  And you’ll realize that a lack of vision, or any other disability, can’t slow anyone down in a race – or in life.
  2. It will be a unique experience. Maybe you’ve run races before. But not like this one. Without the benefit of sight, your other senses sharpen. You’ll hear shouts of encouragement from the crowd and the slap of running shoes against the pavement. The scent of spring will be in the air. You’ll feel the breeze on your face and taste the cool splash of water when you take a drink. Sight is an important sense – but not the only one.
  3. You’ll run with a sighted guide. During the race, you’ll be connected to your guide with a two-foot tether. That’s your lifeline. Your guide will warn you of possible obstacles – a runner ahead, a rough patch of pavement. Before the race, Perkins offers training sessions to help you and your guide learn to work as a team. We can provide a guide, if necessary.
  4. You’ll amaze your friends, family and co-workers. When you’re asked, “What did you do this weekend,” you’ll casually respond, “I ran five kilometers. Blindfolded. What did you do?” Silence. Then: “Oh, I just binge-watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” You, for the win.
  5. You’ll feel great when you cross the finish line. You’ll remove your blindfold and all the sights and excitement of the finish line will flood in. The proud faces of family and friends. The buoyant blue and yellow of the B.A.A. banners. The cheering crowd. You’ve done it! You’ll treasure this moment – this exhilarating sense of accomplishment – for the rest of your life.

To apply for a spot on our 2015 Blindfold Challenge Team, register online by Monday, March 2, 2015 and designate “Perkins” as the organization you will be fundraising for. For more information about the Blindfold Challenge (or to get an accessible application form), contact Emily Goodman, Special Events Manager, at 617-972-7583. Or email [email protected].

Perkins sponsors the Blindfold Challenge in partnership with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, The Carroll Center for the Blind and National Braille Press. 

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