On the 14th October 2018 Victor will run the GENERALI MÜNCHEN MARATHON. Victor is blind as a consequence of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare genetic disorder that involves a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina.
There is no cure or threatment yet and this disease can lead to blindness, like in his case. NoisyVision will support him to promote his initiative and raise awareness and funds which will be donated in equal parts to the
National Eye Institute (NEI) in Bethesda, Maryland, US where a group of scientists is conducting a promising research in gene therapy
and to the
Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM), Naples, Italy, which is one of the leading institutes in gene therapy.
The challenge: we set the goal at 42195 €. For every euro we raise we back up a metre of Victor´s Marathon.
Victor is training hard to complete the full Marathon.
Will we be able to achieve the same goal?
How much does it cost you to run one metre?
Only ONE euro.
And that euro can make a big difference lot for people with Retinitis Pigmentosa.
Let´s do it.
#1Eurox1Metro #Victor4RP #GMM2018
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Hi Victor, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Victor. I come from Vitoria, in the Basque Country. I have been living in London for the last 12 years. I call it home, now I am a Londoner. I recently graduated from a Masters on Public Policy. Right after Finishing my Degree in Politics and International Relations.
How much do you see?
I have not useful sight. Sometimes light perception and movements.
However this is not good enough to walk around without orientation aids. I use a white cane to navigate around.
What are the reasons that made you decide to run the Marathon?
Two days after, we were running. I could stop laughing. I giggle
The main difference is that I do it with no sight.
How often do you train for the Marathon?
Currently I’m training three or four times a week.
I am trying to have at least two sessions per week. One for speed and another for long distance, which means anything above 10 kms.
This is gradually increased weekly.
I also have to do one strength training, lifting weights and two or three cardio trainings per week. This is to keep my fitness level up.
So, as all this training will paying off for my marathon, you could say that I have 5 sessions per week of training for Marathon. 2 runs, 2 cardio, 1 weights.
I know you are also rowing, how comes? You like sport I guess, And what do you like about it?
I discovered rowing a few years ago. Physically is very demanding sport. It is far too much technique involved on it to be an easy sport.
Then, why would I put myself in such a difficult sport?
Well, first I like challenges.
Second and most important: can be an inclusive sport. I can compete at the same level as sighted people. Although there is an special category for disable people (adaptive rowing) is not compulsory to get into that category. Therefore, I can participate in any official competition along non-disable people. It is a way to make it into main-stream, rather than on the “special” category where only disable people participate.
What are the challenges of training and running when you are blind?
There are many challenges. Or perhaps different ways of doing the same thing.
First, if you want to run outdoors you need to make arrangements with one of your guides runners.
I haven’t learn to run on the treadmill yet.
Then, once on the run, I believe is more challenging for the guide than for me.
My guide runner is required to keep me informed about our route in advance. For example, imagine that we are running in a straight line, but there is a turn to the right and then continue straight. Something like an “L” shape. The communications from my Guide Runner will be as follows:
“In 50 meters will turn right 90 degrees”. Then, “10 meters” as we are approaching, then “we turning in 3, 2, 1, turn now, right, right, right, right, straight!”. That would be one turn done.
There are many other commands, for example how to avoid an obstacles “move to me” or “move to you one step”. So we can avoid other people, or things that are on the way: holes on the pavement, or puddles after a day of rain. Other times, there is the need to avoid head height obstacles, hanging branches of trees, then my guide would say “Duck” and I make the duck to avoid hitting my head. The important thing is that I know what we are going to do before we do it. Of course, in race conditions, this become more challenging as there are many external factors you cannot control: high adrenaline of the racing day, thousands of people around you, both running and cheering, possible a new route.
The more runs you do with your guides, the more efficient your communication becomes.
I am very grateful with all my guides, and I try to keep them happy. After all they are enabling me to run.
Probably, the more challenging situation is the people around when running. Although I wear a t-shirt with BLIND in huge capital letters, not everyone realize that you cannot see and therefore you won’t navigate around them. So, sometimes I run over people who were expecting me to avoid them. However, this is not that uncommon for me, as many times on the street people walk into me, despite my white cane clearly indicating me as blind.
Good luck Victor!