Going the Distance: Making an Impression at the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Eugene Marathon

May 3 2011, 8:26 AM

Last week, we were introduced to Luanne Burke, a legally blind advocate of physical fitness for the visually impaired and the driving force behind a separate start for the blind at last weekend's Cherry Creek Sneak. Burke likely didn't know the impact her efforts would have on people like Ethan Johnston, an Ethiopian refugee who has trouble seeing the world in front of him but has a clear vision for his life. He didn't win the blind portion of the race—that honor went to Keith Solverson of Parker and Nicole Aish of Arvada—but it gave Johnston an opportunity to represent the more than one million blind people in Ethiopia (Denver Post).

Running a marathon is a big deal for the sighted as well, and two Colorado runners found out just how big during last weekend's Eugene Marathon in the namesake Oregon town. Justin Ricks of Pueblo West and  Boulder's Katie Blackett won the men's and women's full sections of the race, which saw more than 8,000 runners from 48 states, Canada, and 10 other countries (KMTR Eugene).

This year, the Eugene Marathon is ranked second in number of runners who qualified for the 2012 Boston Marathon (MarathonGuide.com). Considered one of the premier marathons in the United States, the Boston Marathon recently revised its qualifying standards to raise the level of competition for next year's race (Boston Globe).