WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — More than 800 runners are expected to run this weekend’s Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon.
One of those runners is doing it and beating the odds.
Tyler Millard is legally blind. He says it’s worsened over the years which forced him to find new passions in life.
“I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa which is a retina eye disease and I used to play a lot of sports, but when I started loosing my vision I had to find something I could do that was still athletic so I started doing some distance running,” Millard said.
He wanted to be a math teacher, but after his diagnosis he turned to music.
Millard lives in Greensboro but has spent plenty of time in the Port City while attending UNCW and he’s back this weekend running in his 3rd Wrightsville Beach marathon.
“I tell him all the time how inspiring he is,” Emma, Millard’s girlfriend, said.
Emma Vogelsinger, along with three other guide runners, will help Millard complete the race raising money for Foundation Fighting Blindness.
“The reason why I got into running because I can still see white line on a black road and it’s something I can do with very minimal vision without the help of someone else,” Millard said.
He says he has been training the last three months for this event through cold mornings and late nights.
“I know how hard it is to run a marathon so to imagine running that long only having possible a tiny tunnel vision if any, depending on the light, is incredible,” Vogelsinger said.
He says he is hoping to inspire others to never give up.
“You can have a really bad disability or a really bad disease, but you can still do anything you want to do,” Millard said.
Millard will be running the full 26.2 mile long marathon Sunday where he will start at the Wrightsville Beach Park and finish at Mayfaire.
We wish him and all the competitors the best of luck!
If you would like to donate to the cause, here is how to do so.