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Jill Konopka is running Boston for blind, visually impaired athletes

"They inspire me not only as a human but an athlete as well."

Jill Konopka is running the Boston Marathon after being inspired by legally blind runners and their guides. Jill Konopka

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston. If you’re running the marathon, you can share your story here.

Name: Jill Konopka
Age: 41
From: Boston

There’s a simple answer to the question “Why I’m running Boston,” and that’s because of the amazing legally blind athletes affiliated with #TeamWithAVision and the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. They inspire me not only as a human but an athlete as well.

Legally blind runners like Tim Paul (pictured) from Chicago who motivate me to make the 26.2 mile trek in arguably the greatest marathon there is. Tim and other runners like him that I’ve met through MABVI are living life to the fullest, squashing running, personal and professional goals despite not having perfect vision or barely any vision at all.

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They are some of the most energized, tenacious, focused, consistent, supportive, kind and confident people I’ve come to know — refusing to let anything stand in between themselves and their end goal.

It’s no secret Tim got me to the finish line in 2018, encouraging me every step of the way in the monsoon that was Boston. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and I was honored to have him and primary guide Chris McLendon at my side. Truly an inspiration are Tim and all the MABVI athletes, guides, and volunteers.

Editor’s note: This entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.

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