It won’t be hard to pick Wellesley’s Chris Cavallerano out of the pack at next month’s Boston Marathon as it streams through town: He’ll be one of the few blindfolded runners.
Cavallerano is readying for what he calls an “epic charity run,” during which he will we strive to complete the 26.2-mile race while blindfolded to raise money and awareness for the National Braille Press, which promotes literacy of blind children through braille (Go here to learn more about the charity run: Vision42k.org). Cavallerano will run with a guide, Wellesley’s Will Parizeau.
Cavallerano has been on the NBP board since 2006, after leading a volunteer project at their headquarters in Boston. One of his fellow trustees is Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind mountain climber to summit Mt. Everest and all of the seven highest summits since then. He says he’s come across many inspiring people through his affiliation with the organization.
The first-time Boston Marathoner says he has participated as part of the Blindfold Challenge in the Vision 5K over the years (and is shown here, on the left, alongside running legend Bill Rodgers). “The biggest challenge running blind is letting yourself put your absolute trust and well being in someone else’s hands. You’ve got to train and eat properly just like sighted runners leading up to the race but to have a successful race day it’s all about ‘blind faith’. I try to get out on as many ‘guided’ runs as it takes to be comfortable with my guide(s),” he says.
Cavallerano says his run also celebrates the 30th anniversary of Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray’s inaugural Boston blindfold run. “Dave’s a stud and finished in 3:16… me I want to finish safely and raise as much as I can for blind children and literacy,” Cavallerano says.