Legally blind since she was a child, Watertown’s Marla Runyan did not let her impairment stop her from reaching her goals as a long-distance runner.
On March 4, the Boston Celtics honored Runyan before the game against the Utah Jazz.
In 2000, Runyan became the first legally blind athlete to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. She ran in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and stands as the only woman to compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic games.
She was the top American finisher in the Twin Cities, New York, Chicago and Boston Marathons. Marla now teaches at Perkins School for the Blind and serves as their official spokesperson.
For her efforts to show people how to win their own races in life, the Celtics honored Marla Runyan as a Hero Among Us.
The Heroes Among Us program has recognized outstanding individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities. The award is presented at every Celtics home game and pays tribute to the heroic achievements of these outstanding citizens.