Special to the Auburn Mass Daily
Auburn native Christopher Athanas is getting ready to endure 26.2 miles of sore feet and aching muscles for a good cause. He will run the Boston Marathon® on April 21 to raise money for Perkins, founded in 1829 as the nation’s first school for the blind.
Athanas is one of nine runners on the Perkins charity team who will pound the pavement from Hopkinton to Boston to raise upwards of $45,000 for the Watertown-based nonprofit. All donations will fund Perkins’ on-campus, regional and international programs for people who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired with additional disabilities. Athanas has already raised over $7,800.
Athanas has three very different reasons for running the Boston Marathon. The first is his friendship with a Perkins Board of Trustees member. “He speaks very highly of the school and has been trying to get me involved,” he said. “I thought this would be a perfect way to start.”
The second is last year’s marathon bombings. “After the tragedy last year at the Boston Marathon and the way the city bounced back to become ‘Boston Strong,’ I was inspired to run,” he said. “I want to show my kids that we cannot be afraid. I want to be part of the energy this year. I want to show my Boston Pride.”
The third is to prove wrong a doctor who said Athanas would never run again after he had five ankle surgeries, and had the bones in his ankle fused in two places. “The fact that I have a double arthrodesis (fusion) in my left ankle and I can still run is a fact I am very proud of,” he said.
Athanas is vice president of finance at Swiss Precision Products, which makes specialized metal parts for the dental, medical and fiber optic industries, and Worcester Gears & Racks, a custom gear manufacturer. Both are based in North Oxford, Mass.
Athanas has run the Boston Marathon once before, in 2002. He has also been an assistant coach for children’s baseball, soccer and hockey. Currently a resident of Whitinsville, Mass., Athanas was born and raised in Auburn.
To support Athanas’s marathon run and make a donation to Perkins, visit http://www.perkins.org/supportperkins/special-events/boston-marathon/2014/chris-athanas.html.
Perkins is celebrating its 185th year of providing education, services and products to people who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired with other disabilities. Founded in 1829, Perkins works locally and globally, reaching more than 880,000 people each year in 67 countries. Perkins helps to build productive and meaningful lives through its five divisions: School for the Blind, International, Library, eLearning, and Products. Learn more at www.Perkins.org.