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May 4, 2011
Employee Helps Others Stay in Focus
It is not uncommon to see people give a hand to help another, but giving eyes, legs, sweat and will power is highly unusual. The cause is for the blind, the gesture is called guide running, and Lake Erie College’s Director of Career Services, Tyrone Wrice, does it with a passion.
Six years ago, Wrice started Guide Runners, an organization whose purpose is to provide guide runners to blind and low-vision athletes in the region. Through volunteers, donations and kind gestures, Guide Runners is able to provide partners for training and competition of short or long distance events, in addition to arranging transportation and lodging for the contest.
In multiple running events throughout the year, usually marathons, Wrice performs guide running in which he acts as the seeing-eye for a blind runner. With he and his co-runner tethered together, they communicate verbally to navigate through the multi-mile course which is at times a challenge with manholes, inclines, declines, unaware runners, and unforeseen obstacles. Even at a slow pace, this is a challenging task, but the difficulty is maximized as these runners are torching the course to qualify for prestigious events such as the Boston Marathon.
Wrice, who used to run marathons, found motivation from his blind mother to finish the last few miles of his races. Eleven years ago, Wrice’s father passed due to a heart condition, and Tyrone knew he had to take his life to another level. As he dealt with the passing, he made a choice to make running a part of his lifestyle, lost 40 lbs in a fairly short time period and was presented with the opportunity to act as a guide runner for a man running in the Chicago “Wacky 5K” Race, for which he happily accepted. With the chance to run for causes spurred by both his mother and father, Wrice met his co-runner, Tim Paul, and they’ve been friends ever since.
On May 15th, Wrice and Paul will be running in the 34th Annual Cleveland Marathon. This event, supported by multiple sponsors and over 14 charities, highlights the Cleveland community and provides a positive economic impact for the region. The Cleveland Marathon is proud to give charities an opportunity to benefit financially from the events. Wrice and Paul will be enduring the full marathon race, while there will still be a half-marathon, 10K and 5K race for others. Wrice and his Guide Runner team will be assisting at least one other competitor in the race and hopes to provide the opportunity to all visually-challenged runners.
Wrice and the Guide Runners organization are currently working with another group to send a guide to the London Marathon and in the near future, Wrice would like to see an event in the Lake Erie College and surrounding communities to promote the many benefits that running, and running for causes can provide. Currently, Guide Runners has 11 guide runners and walkers in the United States and one each in Belgium and England.
For more information on Wrice and his Guide Runners organization, please visit guiderunners.org, or call (724)-612-1870.
For additional information about the Cleveland Marathon, please visit ClevelandMarathon.com.