Everyone will want to read this, but if you’re from Tennessee School For the Blind you really do want to read, and I hope you’ll please take the time to share…
One of our own is going to be doing some serious running this weekend in Utah. You can follow what goes on at the below link.https://www.facebook.com/kevan.worley/posts/1472224649469094
I am so excited about this. There will be video and race reports on WE Fit Wellness page over the weekend.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2017
BLIND RUNNER TAKES ON HER FIRST 50K ULTRA ACROSS UTAH DESERT
Colorado Springs, CO, March 23, 2017 – On Saturday, March 25th, Jessica Beecham, Executive Director of WE Fit Wellness will attempt her first 50k, running in the Behind the Rocks Ultra in Moab, Utah. The course was designed to highlight the technical slick rock trails of Moab, the views of the Behind the Rocks Wilderness area, and the snowcapped La Sal mountains. Beecham began running marathons in September 2015. Since that day on Mount Nebo, she completed the Boston Marathon and she is the first blind woman to finish the Pikes Peak Marathon. “She won’t be the first blind Ultrarunner, but she is our Ultrarunner,” said Kevan Worley, Chairman of the Board, WE Fit Wellness, a Colorado Springs Non-Profit.
Jessica has been involved in athletics and outdoor recreation since her high school years spent at the Tennessee School for the Blind. She went on to college to get a Master’s degree in Exercise Science.
Throughout her academic and professional career, she remained active and constantly encouraged others with disabilities who were all too often excluded from outdoor recreation and fitness due to lack of access and society’s low expectation. She has channeled her education, professionalism, heart and enthusiasm into a career that gives her an opportunity to stretch her personal limits while encouraging others to stretch theirs.
WE Fit Wellness™ was created from a need for accessible, affordable, and achievable health and wellness solutions for all individuals.
Jessica explained, “I’m excited to do my first Ultra marathon to learn more about myself and my limits. It’s always an amazing feeling to push your personal boundaries. It’s something we encourage people to do every day. This looks different for everyone. For some it may be getting out of the house and walking up and down the driveway to get exercise, others may go out on a limb to attend a group fitness class, and some thrive on an epic adventure like our WE Fit Wellness board member, Brandon Stapanowich, who is going to do the Barkley Marathon next week.”
Jessica is a vivacious, competent and confident woman. When asked about her personal achievements, she will more often begin talking about her coach Karen Kantor (Executive Director of Landsharks Running Club), regular Achilles Pikes Peak guide Phil Golding, and her guide for the Behind the Rocks Ultra, Bailey Eppart (accomplished Ultra marathoner and distiguished Electrical Engineer senior at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs). She will talk about blind runner Jason Romero, who last spring ran more than three thousand miles across America in 60 days (VisionRun USA). She might mention Luanne Burke, Luanne did the Pikes Peak Ascent and placed third in her age group for the Triple Crown Race Series in Colorado, or Amelia Dickerson, a record-setting blind marathon runner from Boulder, Colorado. Jessica might refer to Rhonda-Marie Avery, the first blind woman to attempt the 100 mile Barkley marathon. But as Jessica continues her personal journey, she is even more likely to talk about Connie, who with Jessica’s coaching, has lost 40lbs and now regularly swims at the Y. Jessica will speak with great delight about Paralympians or individuals with developmental disabilities who with the help of organizations like WE Fit Wellness or Achilles International are now able to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Jessica would not consider herself a heroine, but she is our heroine. And our community will be following her quest to conquer the elevation and distance over 50 kilometers Behind the Rocks.