Here's a great idea: You should run a 5k race blindfolded

It’s the Blindfold Challenge in Boston. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. And it’s for a really good cause.

A young woman wearing a blindfold runs while holding the arm of another young woman, who is her sighted guide

Running in the Blindfold Challenge for Perkins School for the Blind will be an exhilarating experience you’ll never forget.

February 10, 2016

Here’s a great idea: You should run five kilometers through downtown Boston, blindfolded, unable to see a single step you take.

Wait. What?

No, seriously. It’s the Blindfold Challenge at the B.A.A. 5K race, held in Boston on Saturday, April 16, 2016. You’re invited to apply to join the official Perkins School for the Blind team, and raise money for our life-changing programs. We’re accepting applications now.

Running a 5k race blindfolded isn’t as crazy as it sounds. You’ll run with a sighted guide who will warn you about upcoming turns, other runners or rough pavement.  Before the race, you and your guide will attend a training session to help you learn to work as a team. We can even help you find a guide if you need one.

Need a little more convincing? Here are five reasons why you should take on the Blindfold Challenge for Perkins:

  1. You’ll support a great organization. For 187 years, Perkins School for the Blind has helped give children who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired with other disabilities a fighting chance to reach their full potential in life. As a member of our team, the money you raise will support Perkins’ programs, on our campus and in your community. Run like you’re changing someone’s life – because you will be.
  2. You’ll realize how much people who are blind can accomplish. By the end of the race, you’ll understand that a lack of vision isn’t a barrier to achieving your goals. That’s true in life and in running. In fact, many people who are blind compete in 5k races, marathons and triathlons. There are even world-class runners in the Olympic Games who are blind.
  3. You’ll realize how much you can accomplish. When you cross the finish line and remove your blindfold, you’ll feel an exhilarating sense of accomplishment. You overcame your fears and achieved something you thought was impossible. If you can run five kilometers blindfolded, there’s no limit to what you can do next!
  4. You’ll gain a new perspective. When you slip on the blindfold before the race, your world goes black. But at the finish line, you’ll take off the blindfold and your vision is restored. People who are blind don’t have that option. And you’ll suddenly understand that being blind doesn’t have to hold you back, and that, in the end, fear is the greatest disability.
  5. You’ll look great doing it. When you finish the race you’ll want to share the experience with your friends. Go ahead – post a video or upload some photos (and don’t forget to tag them with #blindfoldchallenge). Tell the world what you did and how you made a difference for students at Perkins School for the Blind. Your friends won’t know whether to be amazed or jealous.

To apply for a spot on our 2016 Blindfold Challenge Team, register online  by Wednesday, March 2, 2016 and select "Perkins" as the organization you will be fundraising for. For more information about the Blindfold Challenge (or to get an accessible application form), contact Mike Creedon, Events Specialist, at 617-972-7831. Or email Michael.Creedon@Perkins.org.

Perkins sponsors the Blindfold Challenge in partnership with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MAPVI) and National Braille Press. The Boston Athletic Association’s inclusion of the Blindfold Challenge in the B.A.A. 5K helps bring awareness and resources to essential efforts to give blind or visually impaired children and adults the power to live more independently.

Read more about: Advocacy, Events, Fundraisers