Marla Runyan is an American track and field athlete, road runner and marathon runner. She was born in Santa Maria, California on the fourth of January, 1969. She is the holder of three United States 1,500 meter titles. She is ranked number one in the United States 5-kilometer run and the marathon in 2002. Marla holds records in the 20-kilometer Road, All-Female marathon, 500 meter and Heptathlon. All of these accomplishments would be incredibly amazing for any normal athlete. However, Marla Runyan isn’t any normal athlete. Marla Runyan is legally blind. Marla wasn’t diagnosed to be blind with Stargardt’s until she was nine years old in 1978. Stargardt’s is the most common cause of blindness in the US. Her doctors had very low expectations for her future, guessing that she won’t ever get above a “C” in school, learn to drive, or go to college. At that time she was active in soccer and gymnastics, but she eventually had to drop them when her eyesight made it hard for her to see the soccer ball. Soon, she picked up running and became very dedicated. After graduating from Camarillo High School in 1987, she went on to study at San Diego State University, where she began competing in several sporting events: the heptathlon, 200-meter dash, high jump, shot put, 100-meter hurdles, long jump, javelin throw and the 800-meter run. In 1994, she received her master's degree. Runyan won four gold medals at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in the long jump and the 100, 200, and 400 meter races. She attempted to qualify for the "Able Bodied" Olympics at the 1996 U. S. Olympic Trials. Runyan began to make her mark as a world-class runner in 1999. Runyan is the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympics. Her greatest success came at the Paralympic Games, where she has been a five times gold medalist.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document