Carolyn Moore (49) of Grayslake, IL is a seasoned marathon runner who will be running the Madison Marathon for the first time this November. When Carolyn crosses the finish line on the capitol square, she won’t be alone—her running partner, a visually impaired athlete, will accompany her.
Focal Flame Photography, the official photographer for the 2015 Madison Marathon events, talked to Carolyn about providing “eyes” to a blind runner.
Focal Flame Photography (FFP): How many Madison Marathons have you run?
Carolyn Moore (CM): This will be my first Madison Marathon.
FFP: How many total marathons or half marathons have you run?
CM: I have run 34 marathons.
FFP: Do you participate in other similar events?
CM: [I'm] primarily a marathon runner, but I also run half marathons and the occasional 5K.
FFP: Are there any personal accomplishments you would like to mention?
CM: My personal best marathon time is 3 hours and 30 minutes.
FFP: Why did you decide to participate in the Madison Marathon?
CM: I chose the Madison Marathon because of its reputation of being a beautiful, scenic course. I am also hoping for cooler temps in early November.
FFP: What would you tell other racers about running a marathon?
CM: Enjoy the journey; take in the scenery and the sights and sounds of race day.
FFP: Can you tell us about your experience running as a guide for a visually impaired athlete?
CM: I have been guiding a blind athlete for just over a year. We met at a local adult track club through a mutual friend/guide. We usually run 2-3 times a week and we have done a variety of races from 5Ks to the Boston Marathon. I enjoy sharing my love of running with the blind athlete that I guide. As a mom, I understand the importance of a little "me" time and I am happy that I can provide her with an opportunity to run outside.
Editor’s Note: Achilles International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing athletes with disabilities, including visually impaired athletes, with a community of support. Runners who are interested in serving as a sighted guide or who are interested in partnering with a guide can search for local Achilles International chapters here.
FFP: Having run over 30 marathons, what have you learned on your journey as a runner?
CM: About 10 years ago after a back injury ended my running season in an instant, I learned to never take my ability to run for granted. My experience as a guide for a blind athlete has also taught me to appreciate my ability to run as not everyone has the freedom to put on a pair of shoes and head out the door whenever they want.
This article is part of a series featuring athletes who are participating in a Madison Marathon event in 2015. Focal Flame Photography is honored to serve as official photographers for the Madison Marathon. All runners will receive free FocalShare™ digital race photos courtesy of the event organizers. The Fall Madison Marathon events will occur on November 8, 2015 on the streets of Wisconsin's capitol city. For more information or to register, visit Madison Marathon.
- by Erin Patterson