MABVI partners with Eastern States 20 Mile and Run for the Border Half Marathon to create first Visually Impaired Division

Randy Pierce and guides as well as Kyle Robidoux and guides running in the Boston Marathon

The Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) is pleased to announce it has partnered with the Eastern States 20 Mile and Run for the Border Half Marathon to create the first ever Visually Impaired Division for both races, which will be held Saturday, March 26th.

“Having a dedicated division is the epitome of inclusion,” says Kyle Robidoux, MABVI’s Director of Volunteer and Support Group Services, “so we are incredibly grateful to Eastern States for creating this opportunity.”

In addition to his role directing MABVI’s Volunteer and Support Group programs, Robidoux is an athlete himself, and will be running the Boston Marathon on our Team With a Vision. He will be running the Eastern States 20 Mile, which is a popular race for those training to run Boston, and is looking forward to competing in the new division.

“A dedicated Visually Impaired Division allows for athletes who are blind or visually impaired to be recognized for their achievements,” says Robidoux. “I can't wait to run it alongside my peers who are blind/visually impaired.”

Race Director Don Allison is equally excited for the added inclusion the Visually Impaired Division will bring to both races, which have grown in size and popularity in recent years.

“The addition of visually impaired athletes to the race this year is a great enhancement to the event,” says Allison. “I have always been inspired by those who overcome physical challenges in order to participate in long distance running.

“We have helped runners prepare for the Boston Marathon for more than two decades with our 20-mile and half marathon runs. To be able to do so for the visually impaired runners will make the race special this year, and hopefully going forward into future years.”

Designed as a pre-Boston Marathon training race, the Eastern States 20 Mile runs from Kittery, Maine, over the Memorial Bridge, into and through historic Portsmouth, then along scenic Route 1A through several Seacoast towns overlooking the Atlantic, to the finish just over the Massachusetts border in Salisbury. Occurring simultaneously, the Run for the Border Half Marathon, from Wallis Sands Beach, Rye, New Hampshire to the Massachusetts border.

Registration is open until a week before the race on March 26th, but participants are encouraged to sign up as early as possible. More information and a registration form can be found at easternstates20mile.com.

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