January 4, 1969

“Some people have a negative attitude, and that’s their disability” Marla Runyan

Marla Lee Runyan American professional track and field athlete who is legally blind is born.

Marla Lee Runyan is an American track and field athlete, road runner and marathon runner who is legally blind. She is a three-time national champion in the women’s 5000 metres. Runyan was born in Santa Maria, California.

Marla Runyan is the first legally blind athlete to qualify and compete for the US Olympic Team in Track and Field. Runyan was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease when she was a child. The disease is hereditary and weakens an individual’s ability to see. Completing school work was a challenge because there was no technology, like computers, to assist her with reading and writing. 

Runyan was a professional track and field athlete, road runner and marathon runner. She competed in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. She is also a three-time US National Champion in the 5,000 meters and a former American record holder in the Indoor 5,000 meters. Runyan now works as a motivational speaker and communicative disorder specialist.  “10 Most Inspiring Olympic Athletes” via Beliefnet

Marla Runyan – American Track and Field Athlete- Associated Links:

Marla Runyan – American Track and Field Athlete – Related Articles:

  • “The Only American To Compete At The Olympic and Paralympic Games” | Team USA
  • “From Blindness to Greatness” | Way4Vision
  • “How She’s Helping Para-Athletes Be Seen in Competition” | Runners World
  • “Retired Pro Maria Runyan Continues to Inspire” | Runners World
  • “Maya Runyan, Para Athlete Manager for the Boston Athletic Association” | Citrus Mag