This is it. One month to go. On Saturday, Nov. 16, I’ll rise before the sun. I’ll go through the familiar process of shuffling into the kitchen to eat a bagel and drink a glass of water, pulling a chilly, purple tech shirt and tights over goose-pimpled skin and lacing up my Brooks shoes on the back doorstep. I’ll snap my Spibelt pack around my waist, stuff a few energy chews into my pack, check my phone’s battery life and pin my race bib onto my shirt. I’ll sling a short bungee cord over my shoulders. I’ll make my way to uptown Charlotte. And sometime between 7:15 and 7:45 a.m., I’ll temporarily blind myself with a purple blindfold. It won’t be the first time I’ve blinded myself. But it’ll be the moment my sighted guide and I have worked toward for months.
I don’t know how much I expected to have to train for a blindfolded half marathon. More than 20-odd times, that’s for sure. But last night, we logged just our 15th training run in four and a half months. I hope we have a few more practice runs in the weeks to come, but even if we don’t, I believe Andrew and I could run the Thunder Road Half Marathon tomorrow. We ran 4.05 miles after much of the neighborhood went to sleep last night. Our speed still isn’t where I want it to be, but I think that the twisty roads, speed bumps and cul-de-sacs have something to do with that, too. I can’t wait for the freedom of the race course.
On race day, pace/speed will NOT be my main concern, but I think I – WE – have it in us to post a great time. And if the going gets tough, I know that all I’ll have to do is visualize my sister running her first 5K on that same course five years ago, facing the world’s worst disease but refusing to let it stand between her and the finish line or the life she wanted to live. I know that the image of her living her dream will stay with me for all 13.1 miles as I run to the light.
We have a lot to run for.
Are you with us? Read on to find out how you can join us on race day, either in person or from afar.
I will run the Thunder Road Half Marathon blindfolded to support gene therapy co-funded by Taylor’s Tale at the University of North Carolina Gene Therapy Center. Donations to this cause are 100 percent tax-deductible. To support my run and our fight to develop treatments for Batten disease and other genetic diseases, click here.
Join the Taylor’s Tale team at Thunder Road! Click here to register for the marathon, half marathon or 5K. On the second page of registration, under “Event Groups/Teams,” select “Taylor’s Tale” from the list under “Choose an Existing Group.” Run for us to help raise awareness on race day. Stay tuned for more details, including special shirts for team members and an informal post-race event! If you’d rather cheer, stay tuned for details about the official Taylor’s Tale cheer station on the course!