Achilles kids chapters meet 30 minutes before the main group, and one of the youth runners, Kieron Ragunart, often runs alongside the adult chapters. Ragunus, 17, has already completed seven half marathons and plans to run the New York City Marathon in November. Lagunus is on the autism spectrum, and his father, Chris Lagunus, said his son has become much more vocal in the five years he’s been running with Achilles.
“It’s like my own superhero team,” said Spider-Man lover Kieron Lagunus, comparing the Achilles Runner and Guide to the Avengers.
Their neon t-shirts aren’t superhero costumes, but they are effective publicity for the group.
Christian Metzler was born with a missing leg and played on non-adaptive sports teams through high school. When he moved to New York six years ago, he took up running and kept an eye on his T-shirt. On Memorial Day weekend, he attended Achilles training for the first time. Although accustomed to running without a guide, Metzler appreciates the visibility Achilles brings to adaptive sports, especially to those who might not otherwise participate. he said. and he will come back.
“The community aspect is what makes it so much fun to be here,” he said.
Metzeler wasn’t the only rookie on Saturday. Four first time volunteers came to learn how to guide. Training of new guides is always done by blind or visually impaired runners. Because they need the work of guides the most, Mr Magisano told them. It’s easy to learn the nuances for runners with different disabilities once the guides learn to work with their guides.
Simon Isakov, who is also blind, pulled out a tether, essentially a rope or band with loops at each end, that runners and guides use to stay together. As the guide moves on the course, the runner can feel its movement through the tether. Magisano also gave verbal instructions and let runners know if there were any bends, puddles or potholes on the course.