Wellesley’s Jonathan Lake has 20/20 vision as far as he knows, but earlier this month he got a small taste of what it’s like to be blind by taking part in the Vision 5K road race in Boston.
A unique aspect of the race is that sighted runners are invited to take the “Blindfold Challenge” by strapping on a blindfold and covering the 3.1-mile course alongside a sighted guide. Lake, who generally runs a speedy 6-minute pace on 5K courses, ran the Vision 5K at a very respectable 7-minute pace — plenty fast enough to win the challenge with partner Paul Chaplin. Lake was running the Vision 5K for the first time and found it enjoyable, though nerve-wracking. “I ran over one cone but thankfully did not fall,” he writes “The sound of cars while running is VERY scary and they sound really close even though I was promised there were far off.”
Lake, who has lived in Wellesley for about a year and is a VP at family construction company Lake Contracting, says the race raised money and awareness for a good cause. He notes that his family’s business has worked at the Perkins School for the Blind for 20-plus years, so he grew up well aware of the challenges those with visual impairment face. Lake Contracting donated $5K through the race.
The day before the race Lake had a chance to guide for Moises Beristain, an elite runner from Mexico who is almost totally blind. They ran 5 miles through the Cliff Estates section of Wellesley and it proved to be a good tune-up, as Beristain won the visually impaired competition by running a 5:15 per mile pace. “He and the other visually impaired runners are the real heroes here,” Lake says.