Blind athlete searching for 2009 Bloomsday running partner - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Blind athlete searching for 2009 Bloomsday running partner

SPOKANE, Wash. - If you can run an eight to nine minute mile and want a running partner for Bloomsday 2009, call Bryant McKinley.

Every Bloomsday there are stories over people overcoming hardships to finish the race and McKinley's story is no different. McKinley, an avid runner, lost his eyesight 25 years ago to an eye disease, but that hasn't slowed him down. Over the years he's run the LA Marathon, Portland Marathon, Mt. Hood to the Seaside coast, even the Sahara Desert. McKinley was also national champion in tandem cycling.  

Now, his challenge is finding a partner to run with him during Bloomsday. He needs someone who is reliable, dependable and able to run an eight to nine minute mile. That person would hold onto his walking stick and run behind him in tandem. McKinley says this year holds special meaning after his life partner died last year of cancer. McKinley is running the race this year in her memory.

Those who are interested in running with McKinley can call 328-9523.

The Lilac Bloomsday Run was born during the running boom that swept the nation in the late 1970s. Local runner Don Kardong, who moved to Spokane in 1974, competed in several national class road races before and after his participation in the 1976 Olympic Marathon, and in the fall of 1976 he suggested to a local reporter that Spokane should have a downtown run of its own. The suggestion made its way into the newspaper's headlines. More from Bloomsday

Click here to register for Bloomsday 2009.

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