Marla Runyan raises her arms at the finish line, winning her first national title at 5000 meters

Marla Runyan

In 2000, Marla Runyan captured the world's attention when she became the first legally blind American track & field athlete to qualify and compete for the United States Olympic Team. A 5-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and holder of numerous world records among visually impaired athletes, Marla earned her status as one of America's top middle and long distance runners by winning three consecutive USATF National Outdoor Track & Field Championship titles at 5000 meters, and 7 U.S. Road Championship titles. Marla made her second Olympic Team in 2004, and was the USATF National Marathon Champion in 2006.  With a high jump personal record of 5 feet, 11 inches and a 5k best of 14 minutes, 59 seconds, Marla might very well be one of America's most versatile track& field athletes of all time. To date, Marla remains the only American athlete to qualify and compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic Games. Learn more about Marla's remarkable story and how she continues to inspire others today. 

"The manner in which we conduct ourselves, deal with the challenges before us, and treat each other reveals our character, courage, and integrity-- or lack thereof."

-Marla Runyan