Oceanside runner among U.S. Association of Blind Athletes ambassadors


Runners. (Photo by Miguel A. Amutio via Unsplash)



Oceanside CA— An Oceanside runner is among the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes’ 2022 sports ambassadors, the organization announced June 14.
The five runners selected for the USABA Endurance Sport Ambassador Team are Vietnam War veteran Ramiro Contreras of Oceanside, Paralympic triathlete Kyle Coon of Carbondale, Colorado, reigning USABA Marathon National Champion Alison Lynch of New York, multi-sport athlete and 2019 Parapan American Games qualifier Jasmine Murrell of Plainfield, New Jersey, and Persian Gulf War veteran and indoor rowing world record holder Rob Sanchas Warren, Rhode Island.

Ramiro Contreras
Ramiro Contreras

“I love being outside and have a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment after a run,” Contreras stated on USABA’s website. “It is amazing that my body is still letting me do it at 76. Running has been a great way to meet so many wonderful people and the camaraderie among the visually impaired and blind running community is unbelievable.”
The athletes with visual impairments will also join two sighted guide runners, Bryan Lam of San Mateo and Shannon Houlihan of Houston, Texas, on the USABA Endurance Sport Ambassador Team. The ambassadors will help USABA build awareness throughout the year about endurance sport offerings and other initiatives.
“As we expand our event offerings for the running community, this team of endurance sport ambassadors will play an important role in creating awareness around those events,” USABA CEO Molly Quinn said in the organization’s announcement. “2022 will feature our 13th USABA Marathon National Championships, held in conjunction with the California International Marathon (CIM), and we look to build on the success of that event with exciting new races this year and in future years.”

Lam is a triathlete and runner who has completed the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, as well as five of the six world marathon majors, according to USABA. Houlihan is a co-founder and volunteer executive director of the Para Guide Foundation, which supports adaptive triathletes.

More information about USABA is available online at www.usaba.org.