March 9, 2015 5:41 pm
Updated: March 9, 2015 9:43 pm

Legally blind Winnipeg runner prepares for Boston Marathon


WINNIPEG — Running on snow is tricky enough.

Running on snow when you’re legally blind…

“It’s really hard,” said Tracy Garbutt.

The visually impaired Winnipegger has been training all winter for his first Boston Marathon.

“It’s like the Grey Cup of all runs,” said Garbutt.

One he won’t be doing alone.

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“My whole life I’ve been adapting and trying to figure out how to get through things or different ways to fix a problem,” said Garbutt.

Guiding him along the 26.2-mile course will be his longtime friend Mike Malyk. The pair have already completed two marathons together and countless half marathons. Each run, Malyk leads using a specialized rubber band, warning Garbutt of any approaching obstacles.

“I tell him when we’ll be turning,” said Malyk. “If there’s a hill coming up. To watch out for branches. That sort of stuff.”

Allowing Garbutt to concentrate on the race.

“If I don’t have to think about anything major, it’s easier to run,” said Garbutt. “When I’m running nervous, I find that my energy gets sapped really quick.”

Garbutt will be one of 21 visually impaired runners lacing up their sneakers at the 119th Boston Marathon on April 20th alongside 30,000 other racers.

“You’re running against the best in the world,” said Garbutt. “I think that sums it up when you look at the competition that’s there.”

While he knows the podium is out of reach, Garbutt’s goal is to instead motivate others.

“You don’t have to run marathons or whatever but it’s just nice to get people out, do what you want to do,” said Garbutt.

Putting them on track to reach their dreams.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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