HONOLULU (KHON2) — Running the 13.1-mile Hapalua Half Marathon is no easy task — an it’s even tougher for two women who will be hitting the course with a mission to do more than just finish.
Kristy Kelley and Marri Murdoch had met for the first time in person just days before the marathon, set to kick off on April 16.
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They’ve bonded online over their shared experience as visually impaired women who also love to run.
“A lot of people post on there like, ‘does anybody still run with this condition does anybody still bike,’ and so we’ve kind of built that connection through there,” said Marri Murdoch.
Murdoch competed in the Start to Park 10k run in December and that got Kelley’s attention, so she flew in from Arkansas to run with her this weekend.
“To have another human being to be physically present with you as you go through this accomplishment I think that would have been amazing for me to have,” said Kelley. “If I can be that for Marri that’s what I want to be, and that’s the goal of the race for me.”
Both women have the same visual impairment that leaves them with half vision in each eye.
“So all day long the sighted half of this eye is fighting the unsigned half of this eye and so it’s a constant battle of focusing, so we can see but we can’t see,” said Kelley.
As they met up on Friday to get their race bibs, they guided each other through the expo but come race day, Murdoch will have a sighted guide.
“But I will be running a straight line and I will tell her if I see any obstacles like buttons on the road, debris that might be in our path, other than that she does a pretty good job just following on my shoulder,” said Leslie Omura, Murdoch’s guide
And she’ll have Kelley as well.
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“Proving it to the blind community that you can do anything you put your mind to you just need to find your support system and what adaptations you need to make whatever you want achievable,” said Murdoch.