The trip that started it all - Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim
First blind runner crosses
the Grand Canyon
rim to rim to rim -- nonstop
On October 7-8, 2014, Dan Berlin, with help from his guides, became the first blind runner to cross the Grand Canyon “rim to rim to rim” (R2R2R) nonstop.
Dan and his guides spent 28 hours traversing the Grand Canyon’s rugged terrain and narrow trails.
R2R2R is a 46-mile run with over 20,000 feet of elevation change. The runners struggled to overcome their bodies’ inevitable breakdown. Their history-making story was featured on CBS Evening News, FOX News, Outside Magazine, and many other media outlets (see press page for more).
The runners raised money for the Blind Institute of Technology and the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
For a look at the global media coverage of this history-making feat, check out our press page.
CHECK OUT WHAT THE PRESS HAD TO SAY BELOW!
Blind man conquers the Grand Canyon, Air Date: 11/09/14
Dan Berlin knew walking the Grand Canyon from rim to rim and back to the starting point was going to be tough. He is virtually blind and every step is a potential pitfall, which is why he realized the only way he could do this was with friends. Barry Petersen reports.
Watching the sunrise, four friends reflected on the accomplishment they completed the night before— running across all 46 miles of the Grand Canyon, the span of the national landmark. A feat for any athlete, theirs was even more special because four of them were guiding their friend Dan Berlin, who is blind.
The team guiding Dan Berlin across the Grand Canyon had been running for 22 hours when they stopped, at 3:30 a.m., to admire the moon. One of the guides, Alison Qualter Berna, felt a pang of guilt because Berlin, who is blind, couldn’t see it. But he didn’t mind. For him, experiencing the Grand Canyon in his own way—through the smells, fall breezes, and simply feeling the moon’s presence—was just as powerful.
Five friends sat together at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, near the low-slung stone building the mule trains from the rim head to, Phantom Ranch. It was the middle of the night, in the early hours of Oct. 8. The five had run 35 or so miles, mostly continuously, from the South Rim of the canyon, down to the river, and up the other side to the North Rim. They’d passed Phantom Ranch the day before, and now they were back.
On October 8, at age 46, he became the first blind person to complete the Rim to Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon, a 46-mile trail run with an enormous 20,000 feet of elevation gain. Guided by four sighted athletes and starting on the South Rim, Berlin, and team finished in 28 hours-an achievement for any ultrarunner, but obviously exponentially more difficult for someone who can’t see rocks or steps in the trail or the dropoffs on the side of the trails.