Legally Blind Penn State Student Runs Marathon to Raise Money for Visually Impaired Children
Less than one percent of the United States population can say that they’ve run a full marathon. Even fewer can say that they’ve done so legally blind.
Penn State junior Devin Adams has done just.
Adams, of State College, had planned to run the New York City Marathon, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She wasn’t keen on giving up, so she planned her own marathon in State College instead.
She chose to raise money for Camp Abilities, an organization that strives to help visually impaired children and young adults engage in physical activity.
Adams has been involved with Camp Abilities since she was 7 years old and spent many years as both a camper and a counselor.
“To me, it was just a place for growing up,” Adams said. “No one ever put limits on me. I could do anything. Like, everyone just kind of believes in you. And it’s never about visual impairment.”
Adams had dreamt of running marathons since she was in high school. Once she arrived at Penn State, she joined the club cross country team and surrounded herself with others who loved running just as much as she did.
Adams ran the marathon on Nov. 1 with her friend, whose mother started Camp Abilities in Pennsylvania. The 26.2-mile course spanned through the University Park campus, State College and Boalsburg.
Several club cross country teammates biked the marathon with the two, and even more teammates and friends joined for the last mile.
People across the state and country were able to run miles at the event or virtually. For every mile that they ran, they donated $5 to Camp Abilities.
In total, Adams and her friends raised $650 for the organization.
In the future, Adams plans on running the New York City Marathon when it’s back to operating in person.
“Since it was canceled, they gave everyone who had entry into this year’s race,” Adams explained. “Whenever the race happens again, we’ll have entry into that year. So I definitely am looking forward to whenever that can happen.”
So much time and energy went into training, fundraising, organizing, and running the event. But Adams said it was an experience that will stay with her forever.
Adams added she’s grateful for the support that her club cross country and Camp Abilities families have provided her.