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Entries in Runner (3)

Thursday
Oct272011

Teen Blinded by Stargardt's Disease Chases Dreams -- and Guide Dog

Courtesy Sami Stoner(LEXINGTON, Ohio) -- Ohio teen Sami Stoner loves to run.  But when a rare eye disease swiftly stole her vision, the tree-studded trails of cross country running became too dangerous to tackle.

Stoner has Stargardt's disease -- a hereditary form of macular degeneration that causes irreversible blindness.

At first, it seemed running would be yet another sacrifice for the 16-year-old, who will never be able to drive.  But she found her way back into the race with a one-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever called Chloe.

"When one door closes, another one opens," said Stoner, a high school junior in Lexington, Ohio.  "Even if you have a disability or you don't think you can do something, there's almost always a way."

Stoner met Chloe, a specially trained guide dog, in July at the Pilot Dogs facility in Columbus, Ohio.  Tethered by a sturdy harness, the pair endured four weeks of intense training -- first walking and then running under close supervision.

"I've never bonded with even a person like that," said Stoner.  "She knows she has to watch out for me.  I can't imagine being without her now."

Stoner returned to Lexington with Chloe on Aug. 17.  Although Chloe could safely guide Stoner through three miles of uneven terrain, one obstacle required outside help: Ohio High School Athletic Association rules barred Stoner from participating in cross country runs with a dog.

"There's never been a blind athlete with a dog sanctioned to compete," said John Harris, director of athletics for Lexington Local Schools.

Harris urged the association to allow Stoner and Chloe to run.  Eventually, they said yes -- with some stipulations.  Stoner has to start 20 seconds after the other runners.  And while she's allowed to pass them, and she does, she can't impede them.

With the Association's OK, Stoner and Chloe raced the following day on Sept. 17.  In three meets since, the pair has bettered their time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar112011

Marathon Runner Eats McDonald’s Three Times a Day

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock showed the perils of eating nothing but McDonald's food in his 2004 documentary Super Size Me, but Joe D'Amico apparently never saw the movie -- because he's been eating Mickey D's three times a day as part of his training for running a marathon. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports D'Amico is set to run in the Los Angeles Marathon on March 20 after spending 30 days eating nothing but McMuffins, McNuggets, and other McDonald's menu items. 

D'Amico tells the newspaper, "My wife told me I was crazy, but I love McDonald's and I love running, and this was a great way to combine the two." 

D'Amico eats breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's, but hasn't gained any weight because he runs 100 miles a week. 

Filmmaker Spurlock famously gained 24 pounds and watched his health decline when he ate nothing but McDonald's for just 30 days.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Feb212011

95-Year-Old Woman Sets Running Record

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A 95-year-old New York woman set a world record last week when she ran at a track meet in northern Manhattan.

Ida Keeling, coming in at 83 pounds and standing 4 feet, 6 inches tall, ran 60 meters in 29.86 seconds at the meet, becoming the first woman her age to ever accomplish that feat.

The 95-year-old, who takes only one prescription drug and recalls names and dates with the speed of someone half her age, said she feels years younger than her true age.

"Like a puppy," Keeling declared.  "I feel younger now than when I was in my 30s and 40s!"

Over her long life, Keeling has endured the kind of heartbreak and hardship that could grind anyone down.  Her mother passed away when she was a child, and her husband died suddenly of a heart attack when he was just 42.  She lost two sons, Charles and Donald, to drug-related killings in 1979 and 1981.

But in running, Keeling found a refuge.

Her daughter, Shelley Keeling, who is a lawyer and real estate investor and coaches track and field at a nearby high school, convinced her to go on a "mini-run" when her mother was 67.  Two years later, Ida Keeling ran a 5K race, and she's been running ever since.

"It felt good, and I felt uplifted.  I said, 'Well, gee, this is for me,"' Kelling said.

When asked about the secrets to her good health, Keeling said she eats a light breakfast for dinner and a dinner -- say hamburger, or liver, or fish -- for breakfast.

Keeling said she is not sure how much longer she will run, although she said she hopes to "make it to 108," which would give her four more years than her father's mother, who lived until the age of 104.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio