Friday, October 10, 2014

Blind runner makes history across the Grand Canyon

We did it!  Dan Berlin (aided by four guides) just made history as the first blind runner to cross the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim in one go.  Here's a photo of our group near the end of the 28-hour effort:

In order: Alison Qualter Berna, Dan Berlin, Charles Scott, Pete Kardasis, Brad Graff 

The 46-mile route over rocky terrain included 25,000+ feet of elevation change, and in certain sections, dangerous switchbacks on narrow trails beside thousand-foot drop offs.  The four guides took turns guiding Dan, usually two at a time - one in front and one behind to keep him safe.  We took only short breaks to refuel, refill water supplies, repair damaged feet and other body parts, wrap sore joints, and encourage one another not to give up.  We were completely self-supported and at one point refilled our water bottles from a nearby stream.

Dan describes his blindness as an inconvenience instead of a disability.  Rather than focusing on what he cannot do, he explores what he can do.  Hmm, sounds like a lesson for the rest of us...

We've received a lot of donations to the two blindness foundations we're supporting.  Thank you!  For those who haven't donated, but would like to, the page is still open:

We're getting lots of press interest, including (click on name to see the article):
 Outside Magazine
 New York Family Magazine (written by Alison Qualter Berna)
 The Coloradoan Newspaper
 Colorado Springs Gazette
 KAFF Radio

More press is in the works.  FOX News will run an online story next week and a TV spot later in the month.  Cool!  Check back here for updates. 

Here are a few more pics:
The amazing Alison Qualter Berna (one of Dan's guides) doing a handstand by the Grand Canyon

Group pic at Phantom Ranch: Alison Qualter Berna, Charles Scott, Dan Berlin, Brad Graff, Pete Kardasis

Approaching the Colorado River

Pausing to party on the way up the North Rim

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