Storytellers: Blind, disabled runners lead the way at Wash Park

9:39 PM, Oct 13, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - If you happen to pass by Denver's Washington Park Monday evening, you might notice something different: A group of runners who go the extra mile to break down barriers.

They're part of a group called "Achilles." It consists of athletes with disabilities and visual impairments.

"I was blind from age 27 with type 1 diabetes," runner Kerry Kuck said.

Kuck and many others gather every Monday to either run or walk Wash Park's circuit. Most days Kuck is able to run more than a dozen miles.

"I've got a 47 day record of running every day with my guide dog," Kuck said.

For Amelia Dickerson, another blind runner, being able to run - and run well - is an accomplishment.

"Fact is everyone has something that could keep them from running, and what I have found is running is an integral part of my life and I feel better at the end of the day when I've gone running," Dickerson said.

"Achille"' is open to anyone who wants to participate.

"We encourage everyone to come out," founder of Achilles Colorado Michael Oliva said,.

When Achilles Colorado first launched, it only had one or two members. Now it has a few dozen.

"To see it blossom to 30 or 40 people in just a few months it's definitely satisfying and surprising," Oliva said. "It's just personally rewarding for me to know I was a part of making that happen".

At first, some runners were concerned other runners would look at them differently and judge them. But after a while, they realized that wasn't the case. They feel welcomed being part of Achilles.

"This is the life that I have. And so there might be struggles in it, it might not look like what I would have planned when I was five years old or ten years old but I get one life. So I can make of it what I want to," Dickerson said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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