Saturday, October 25, 2014

FOX News Interview

My friends Dan Berlin, Alison Berna and I just appeared on FOX News to talk about our 28-hour trek across the Grand Canyon.  Dan, who just became the first blind runner to cross the Grand Canyon nonstop, 46 miles "rim to rim to rim," supplied my favorite quote: "I'm not necessarily an adventure seeker, but I think life's too short to really sit back and be a passenger."  Well said, sir.

You can see the interview here.

And here are some pics:

Julie Banderas (left), Dan Berlin (top), Alison Qualter Berna & Charles Scott (bottom right)

Video footage helping Dan cross a stream in the Grand Canyon

Alison Qualter Berna, Julie Banderas, Charles Scott

With Alison's daughters, Maddie and Sydney, and my son Sho

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Interviews with Dan Berlin, First Blind Runner to Cross Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

The press have been picking up on Dan's historic rim to rim to rim crossing of the Grand Canyon.  Here's a TV and a radio interview (click on the title to watch/listen), and more press is in the works!

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

First Blind Athlete To Run Across the Grand Canyon and Back in One Day

In less than a week, my friend Dan Berlin is going to attempt to become the first vision-impaired athlete to run across the Grand Canyon and back in a single day.   I’m going to guide Dan on the 46-mile route with help from my friends Brad Graff and Alison Qualter Berna.  Dan went blind in his 30s and THEN decided to become a marathoner.  And now he’s taking on a physical challenge that intimidates even the strongest of runners.   

Here's a pic while guiding Dan in the NYC Marathon:

And here's a pic from the Toughman 1/2 Ironman (Swim 1.2 miles, Bike 56 miles, Run 13.1 miles) race with Dan and Alison:

And here's a pic of Brad Graff, who is an accomplished endurance runner and adventure hiker:

Known as “rim to rim to rim,” this challenge is a bucket list item for ultra runners looking for an extreme endurance test.  There will be no race officials or aid stations.  Just the four of us carrying everything we need and supporting one another as we attempt to traverse over 20,000 feet of elevation change.  

We will start running at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, October 7th, at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, run down to the Colorado River, across the base of the canyon, up the north rim, then turn around and re-trace our steps. 

October is Blindness Awareness Month, and we’re using this run to raise money for two organizations:

 - The Blind Institute of Technology, a nonprofit whose mission is to prepare the visually impaired and the employers who hire them for success in the workplace. 

 - The Foundation Fighting Blindness, whose mission is to drive the research that will prevent, treat and find cures for people affected by the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.

If you would like to support us, please make a donation on our fund raising page: