Achiev­ing goals no mat­ter what


Can you imag­ine be­ing legally blind and run­ning fast?

Well, Ma­ree Carson does this. The 32-year-old Welling­ton travel agent re­fuses to let her dis­abil­ity stop her from run­ning.

Ma­ree’s next event is the Cigna Round the Bays on Fe­bru­ary 19. Her goal is to step up her speed so she can beat her time of 1hr 46mins from the same event ear­lier this year.

‘‘I’m quite com­pet­i­tive and so I’m look­ing for­ward to do­ing it again and try­ing to do it bet­ter,’’ she said.

To achieve her goal she will join the Welling­ton Har­rier Ath­letic Club to help with her train­ing.

Ma­ree also runs with Achilles New Zealand, who sup­port her by team­ing her up with a guide to help her along new and un­known cour­ses.

Next year’s event will be Ma­ree’s fifth half-marathon fol­low­ing her com­ple­tion of the New York Marathon last month with the help of Achilles guide Josh Thomas, from Welling­ton. He will also vol­un­teer at Cigna Round the Bays, an event he is a big fan of.

‘‘It’s an easy and flat course, the wa­ter views are beau­ti­ful and there are good vibes,’’ he said.

Ma­ree loves the event too and has al­ways run. ‘‘I love it. I feel quite free and it gives me a clear head. It makes me feel bet­ter. It makes me so happy,’’ she said.

Ma­ree started losing her sight aged 16 through a de­gen­er­a­tive eye con­di­tion, Re­tini­tis Pig­men­tosa.

She has less than 5 per cent vi­sion in­clud­ing no depth of vi­sion or pe­riph­eral vi­sion. She can­not see in the dark, in shad­ows, and some­times ‘‘floaters’’ af­fect her cen­tral vi­sion.

Her com­mit­ment to run­ning is an in­cred­i­ble mo­ti­va­tion. She’s an in­spi­ra­tion.

Achilles is the of­fi­cial char­ity part­ner of Cigna Round the Bays. Want to help? If you would like to guide an ath­lete, or have a dis­abil­ity and would like help to take part in Cigna Round the Bays, con­tact Achilles at Or fundraise for this wor­thy cause. You can set up a fundrais­ing page as part of your regis­tra­tion.


Regis­ter for the event at cig­naroundthe­ and join to be in towin a prize worth $2500.

Col­umn by Rachel Grunwell, Cigna Health and Well­be­ing Am­bas­sador - a runner, qual­i­fied yoga teacher and di­rec­tor of life­style web­site In­ Fol­low her per­sonal jour­ney to get race-ready with her fam­ily on Face­book: In­spiredHealthNZ and In­sta­gram: @In­spired­healthand­fit­ness.

Ma­ree Carson and her Achilles guides com­plet­ing the New York Marathon this year.

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