Achilles Nashville Chapter History

2012


  • On April 18th, 2012, Achilles International – Nashville Chapter hosted its Inaugural workout at the McCabe Park Community Center.
  • Theresa Khayyam became the first Achilles Nashville athlete to complete the Country Music Half Marathon. Due to a viral infection, she had become completely blind two years before, and told herself she wanted to run a half marathon on her 40th birthday. She completed the race with three Achilles Guides, a HUGE smile, and her family cheering her across the finish line.
  • Our weekly Wednesday night runs were quickly well-attended with an average of 10 athletes and 25-30 volunteers each week.
  • Achilles International brought us 3 new hand-cycles ($4,000 each) to be used by athletes in our chapter.
  • Other Races: Titans 5K (14), Mayors Challenge 5K (8), Boulevard Bolt (8).
  • Achilles International – Nashville Chapter received a restricted grant in the amount of $5000 from the James W. Pickle Foundation to help athletes with physical challenges purchase assistive medical devices (such as wheelchairs, orthotics, prosthesis, or braces). Austin Crymes, an athlete with Cerebral Palsy, received a Bioness electrostimulation device that helped him to walk without falling as a result of this generous grant. Meet Austin: https://youtu.be/IG3vTWojW4Y
  • Achilles International, in partnership with Cigna, sent one Achilles Nashville athlete and his family to Dallas, TX for the Mayors 5K.
  • Mayor Karl Dean, as part of his 2nd Annual Walk 100 Miles Challenge, walked with our chapter on December 19th, 2012. He then attended our 1st Annual Holiday Party at the McCabe Golf Course Clubhouse.
  • By year end, we had quickly become the second largest chapter in the nation behind New York City, with 48 registered athletes and 122 registered volunteers.
  • Video highlights of our first year: https://youtu.be/R7s6D-5SayQ

2013


  • In January, Achilles International, in partnership with Cigna, sent one athlete and a family member to the Disney Half Marathon.
  • In May, six Achilles athletes participated in the Music Row Fitness Crawl, sponsored by Results Fitness, Shakti Yoga, and Lulu Lemon, raising $2000 for our local chapter.
  • In July, 10 athletes participated in the Nashville Striders’ Firecracker 5000, with Achilles Nashville earning ~$500 as a beneficiary of the race.
  • In August, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean came to our Volunteer Guide Appreciation night, presenting Nashville Chapter leaders with Certificates of Recognition for dedicated service to Nashville’s Special Needs Athletes.
  • In September, we adopted a formal working Advisory Board, with Melanie Yappen as President.
  • In October, Joe Shaw became the first visually impaired man to compete in the Warrior Dash.
  • In November, four Achilles Nashville athletes and their guides completed to the New York City Marathon.
  • Athletes and guides attended the Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars football game.
  • We hosted our 2nd Annual Holiday Party with over 80 people in attendance.
  • Other Races: Tom King 3K/5K/Half Marathon (5), Country Music Mini/Half/Full Marathon (13), Titans 5K (9), Music City Triathalon (1), Franklin Classic (1), Women’s Half Marathon (2), Mayors 5K, Boulevard Bolt, and Snowflake 5K.
  • We created a Giving Matters profile, and received a Discretionary Grant from the Community Foundation in the amount of $4200.

2014


  • In January, Achilles International, in partnership with Cigna, sent one athlete and a family member to the Disney 5K.
  • In April, we partnered with ABLE Youth, and participated in the Country Music Marathon (1), Half Marathon (5) and 5K (10).
  • In May, Achilles International-Nashville Chapter hosted our 1st Annual Hope & Possibility® 5-Miler and 1-Miler at the Dominican Campus. Over 600 people attended, including Achilles International Founder Dick Traum, and Trisha Meili, author of I Am the Central Park Jogger, A Story of Hope and Possibility. Able-bodied athletes and athletes with disabilities competed side-by-side, celebrating the hope, possibility, determination, and accomplishment that we all share. Highlights: https://youtu.be/QEk10MU9Gh0
  • In early Fall, we added a Saturday run at the Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.
  • In October, three visually impaired athletes dressed up as “Three Blind Mice” and ran the Octoberfest 5K.
  • We started our 1st Annual Halloween Run around the Richland West End Neighborhood.
  • In November, five Nashville athletes competed in the New York City Marathon.
  • Achilles International donated two additional hand-cycles to our local chapter’s athletes.
  • We purchased our first hand-cycle trainer.
  • With proceeds from our Hope & Possibility® event, and a very generous Memorial Foundation Grant ($20,000), we hired our first dedicated Executive Director, Carrie Redmon, to lead our chapter in 2015.
  • Other Races: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K, Tom King Half Marathon & 5K, Firecracker 5000, Franklin Classic, Women’s Half Marathon, Shelby Bottoms Boogie, Mayors 5K (10), Boulevard Bolt (4).
  • We celebrated our 3rd Annual Holiday Party with over 90 people in attendance.

2015


  • In January, Achilles International – Nashville Chapter and Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital co-hosted a showing of the documentary film Endless Abilities at the Scarritt-Bennett Center. This documentary follows four best friends as they drove across the country in search of adaptive sports for individuals with physical disabilities. From rehabilitation patients to Paralympic athletes, their cameras captured the reality of broken boundaries and common goals among all who are active. They went rock climbing with the blind, played soccer with quadriplegics, and swam with those with muscular dystrophy, to name a few. Through their journey, they learned that sports really are the great equalizer, unifying people of all abilities on a level playing field.
  • In March of 2015, the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Nashville Bar Association hosted their 12th Annual Race Judicata, with proceeds of ~18K benefiting both ABLE Youth and Achilles International – Nashville Chapter.
  • In April 2015, we welcomed 25 athletes and volunteer guides from the Achilles Philadelphia Chapter to our wonderful city of Nashville. We hosted a pre-race dinner at the Baker Donelson Building downtown. Then over 40 athletes and guides from Achilles Nashville, ABLE Youth, and Achilles Philadelphia competed in Nashville’s Country Music Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K.
  • In May 2015, we hosted our 2nd Hope & Possibility® 5-Miler and 1-Miler, with over 650 participants. Austin Crymes, a 21-year-old with cerebral palsy, completed his first 5-miler in 4 hours and 10 minutes. At his request, we played the Rocky theme song as he crossed the Finish Line. Highlights: https://youtu.be/QEk10MU9Gh0
  • Three athletes competed in the NYC Marathon, and one athlete competed in the Connecticut Half Marathon.
  • Other Races: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K, Firecracker 5000, Color Vibe, Shelby Bottom Boogie, the Mayors 5K, Boulevard Bolt, and Rudolph Run.
  • We purchased our 2nd handcycle trainer.
  • In December, we celebrated another great year with ~ 90 members of our Achilles’ Nashville family at our 3rd Annual Holiday Party.

2016


  • In January, Achilles International, in partnership with Cigna, sent 4 athletes and their guides to the Disney Half Marathon (3) and 5K (1). Cigna provided 2-day hopper passes for the group.
  • Other Races: Hot Chocolate 15K(2)/5K(4), Special Kids 15K (2)/5K(1), Purity Moosic Dairy Dash (1)
  • In March, ten athletes participated in Race Judicata, hosted by the Young Lawyer Division of the Nashville Bar Association. We were again a beneficiary, receiving a very generous $8,912.
  • Four athletes competed in the St. Jude Half Marathon, and seven participated in the 5K.
  • We purchased our first portable wheelchair racing training roller.
  • We hosted our 3rd Annual Hope & Possibility® at the Dominican Campus, again welcoming Trisha Meili, and celebrating the hope and possibility in our great Nashville. Highlights: https://youtu.be/l6lcCfogC28
  • Nine athletes participated in the Firecracker 5000, hosted by the Nashville Striders, again benefiting the Nashville Striders Youth Fund and Achilles International – Nashville Chapter.
  • In August, one athlete ran the Nashville Half Full Half Marathon, and a second athlete ran the 10K.
  • In October, one athlete and guide to traveled to compete in the Denver Half Marathon
  • In November, three athletes to traveled to compete in the Philadelphia Half Marathon and 8K
  • In November, six athletes traveled to compete in the New York City Marathon

2017


  • Presentation to Special Ed class (Robbie Hampton’s) at Lipscomb University was given by the Executive Director and Asst. Directors of Achilles in an effort to bring awareness to the students and offer volunteer opportunities for SpecEd students (Achilles approved site for hours)
  • In January, one athlete traveled to Houston to compete in both the 5k and the Half Marathon (handcycle division); 2 athletes and 3 guides participated in the annual Zoo Run in Nashville
  • Achilles Executive Director, along with Assistant Directors attend a meeting with Friends Life staff to discuss the opportunity for Achilles to do community outreach, as a result Friends Life (FL) Community will become an outreach partner with Achilles Nashville providing weekly workouts at the FL location for those involved in this group.
  • In February, one wheelchair athlete competed in the Predator’s 5k; 10 athletes and 13 guides participated in the Hot Chocolate race in Nashville, 5 in the 5k, 5 in the 15k
  • In February, one blind athlete traveled to Disney in Orlando to compete in the Princess Half Marathon
  • March 1, Achilles Executive Director and Assistant Directors did presentation at Lipscomb University for the IDEAL students, their families, and faculty of IDEAL to bring awareness to our organization and invite participation
  • In March, several Achilles guides and athletes were invited to participate in Pint Night, an awareness event put on by Mountain High Outfitters. Achilles along with other programs that provide sports related activities set up displays to share information with the community.
  • In March, 6 athletes (3 in 5k, 3 in Half Marathon) and 6 guides participated in The Tom King Classic in Nashville. Achilles had a booth set up for sharing information and Save the Date cards for H&P 2017
  • Our new Achilles International Nashville website https://achillesnashville.org/, went live as of early April!
  • On April 17th, a blind athlete, Stephanie Zundel, accompanied by her guides, Harvey Freeman and Amy Harris became first Achilles Nashville athlete to compete in the Boston Marathon. Stephanie received much coverage for this accomplishment. Highlights from StyleBlueprint:
  •  https://t.e2ma.net/message/4wjs6i/gywgzm
  • In April, Achilles athletes and guides participated in the Race Judicata, hosted by the Young Lawyers Division of the Nashville Bar Association. Both ABLE Youth and Achilles are beneficiaries of this race. 8 athletes were in the 5k, 11 in the 10k, 18 guides assisted
  • Executive Directive presented information about Achilles to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) at their annual meeting
  • Also in April, 12 athletes (3 athletes doing 5k, 1 doing full, 7 doing the half) and 15 guides participated in the St Jude Rock and Roll Marathon Series. 1st handcycle half marathon for 1 athlete, 1st half marathon for another
  • Achilles celebrated its 5th year anniversary during the Wednesday night practice on April 26
  • On April 29, for the 2nd time, Achilles athletes were represented at the Warrior Dash, an obstacle run that includes going through mud pits, climbing net ropes, jumping over a line of fire. Three blind athletes along with three guides braved this race.
  • In May, two Achilles athletes (1 in racing chair) and one guide participated in the Titans 5k
  • In May, one Achilles athlete and one guide traveled to Disneyland to participate in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon
  • In May, one Achilles athlete, along with three guides participated in the Geist Half Marathon in Indianapolis, 1other guide participated in the race as a solo registered runner.
  • Achilles participated in The Community Foundation’s Big Payback, which occurred May 3rd. This effort brought 96 donors to give Achilles Nashville a total of $8,345.00!. https://www.thebigpayback.org/achillesnashville.
  • Achilles welcomes its first ever intern, a doctoral student at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This student will spend three weeks with Achilles in May then will return to complete a 3-month apprenticeship with Achilles Nashville (supervised by Amy Harris) from September 18th until December 14
  • On May 13, Achilles guides and athletes were invited back to participate in another Pint Night, an awareness event put on by Mountain High Outfitters. Achilles along with other programs that provide sports related activities set up displays to share information with the community.
  • On May 24, Achilles staff attend the Awards Banquet and Ceremony (held prior the Tennessee Disability MegaConference) to accept The Arc of Tennessee’s Agency of Distinction Award on behalf of Achilles International – Nashville. The Arc has a 60- year history of promoting and protecting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and providing them the opportunity to live full, satisfying and self-determined lives as valued and contributing members of their communities.
  • On June 5, Achilles was welcomed at the Green Hills Run Club (GHRC) for a community awareness night. Achilles shared info on the Hope and Possibility® Race and weekly runs, passing out Save the Date cards and drawing for (1) free registration.
  • Farm Burger Fundraiser brought out many Achilles members, their families, and friends. Achilles received 10% of the proceeds from sales from 4-9 PM, totaling $300 for the evening.
  • Chipotle fundraiser provided Achilles with 50% of the proceeds from dinners purchased between 5-9 PM. Achilles earned approximately $700 for the evening. Participants showed a flyer or mentioned Achilles at the register to get the donation. A large portion of the GHRC participated after the weekly run at Fleet Feet.
  • Achilles met for the 2nd time with Friend’s Life group. Achilles will partner with Friend’s Life, in a community outreach summer/ fall program to prepared approximately 20 young adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in the 1-mile or 5-mile Hope & Possibility® Training will begin in August.
  • Athleta joins Achilles at weekly practice in preparation for July Achilles “in-store” public awareness event July 1, 2017.
  • July 4th Achilles athletes and guides ran in the Firecracker 5000 hosted by Nashville Striders. Achilles is beneficiary for this race.
  • July 21 & 28, 2017 Achilles visited Friends Life to hand out information about the upcoming community outreach with Achilles/ Friends Life. Information and flyers and save the date cards were shared with families and staff of FL.
  • Achilles Nashville participated (along with Vanderbilt IRIS Center/ Spec Ed) in a booth exhibit for 600 MNPS Special Education teachers. Teacher professional development was at White’s Creek High School, participants learned about Achilles, Hope and Possibility® and volunteer/ guide opportunities as how students who are transitioning from HS could participate in Achilles
  • August 4, 2017, 1st Achilles kicked off the Community Outreach Program with Friends Life at Sevier Park Community Center. fourteen Friends, three FL staff, and eight Achilles volunteers participated. Due to rain, the group ran or walked on the inside track.
  • August 5, 2017, Fall training for the Disney Wine and Dine Half marathon (will have five Achilles athletes and five guides and a coach traveling to Orlando in November 2017)
  • August 11, 2017, 2nd Achilles/ Friends Life group training, seven Friends, two FL staff, and nine Achilles volunteers participated. One additional volunteer came from the Parallon Group/ HCA (through a parent of a FL work place volunteer program).
  • August 12, lululemon hosted the CA International Marathon and Disney Wine and Dine training groups with a run from the lululemon store in Green Hills Hill Center. Three Achilles athletes, five Achilles volunteers/ guides, and a staff member from lululemon ran a three-mile course and finished back at the store. Juice Bar provided snacks at the end.
  • August 12, lululemon hosted the CA International Marathon and Disney Wine and Dine training groups with a run from the lululemon store in Green Hills Hill Center. Three Achilles athletes, five Achilles volunteers/ guides, and a staff member from lululemon ran a three-mile course and finished back at the store. Juice Bar provided snacks at the end.
  • August 28th, 2017 Achilles gave a presentation at Lipscomb University for education majors regarding service opportunities
  • August 29th, 2017 Achilles gave a presenation at Lipscomb University for special education majors for 18 students
  • August 31st, 2017 Achilles gave a presentation at Lipscomb University to another special education class of 30 students
  • September 7th, 2017 Achilles participated in Lipscomb University’s service and learning together fair (SALT), a booth exhibit to recruit volunteers and spread community awareness.
  • September-October, 2017 Achilles went to schools, running clubs ,and met with beneficiaries regarding Hope & Possible in order to reach as many people as possible
  • October 7th, 2017 9 athletes and 13 guides participated in the Bison Boogie 5k by Lipscomb University, supporting their IDEAL program that supporting students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their pursuit of college education at Lipscomb.
  • October 10th, 2017 Achilles fundraiser at Kung Fu cancelled due to restaurant issues.
  • October 13th, 2017 Achilles completed training program with Friends Life. 9 Friends went on to participate in Hope & Possibility.
  • October 21st, 2017, we hosted our 4th Annual Hope & Possibility® at the Dominican Campus. Over 400 athletes and over 150 volunteers participated.
  • October 25th, 2017 Achilles participated virtually in the Dash at Dusk, a 5k to support the Spirit of Discovery Park, a 100% accessible amusement park being built in St. Louis. Blind athlete Annie Donnell is an intern with the St. Louis organization.
  • October 29th, 2017 2 Achilles athletes travelled to Japan for the Oita marathon. Unfortunatly the race was cancelled due to inclement weather.
  • November 5th, 2017 3 athletes and 5 guides participated in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Orlando. Sara Solomon PR’d with a time of 2:28:32
  • November 11th, 2017 Achilles annual Bruegger’s run on the Boulevard with breakfast afterwards.
  • November 23rd, 2017 Achilles participated in the Boulevard Bolt 5 miler. 7 athletes and 9 guides were in attendance.
  • December 3rd, 2017 7 visually impaired and blind athletes and 8 guides participated in the California International Relay in Sacramento (Stephanie participated in full marathon, other athletes completed half marathon relay). Stephanie Zundel qualified for Boston for the second time.  Annie Donnell completed her first half marathon with a time of 2:27:34. Dwaine Jones PR’d  with a time of 3:09:41.
  • December 20th, 2017, Achilles annual Christmas Party
  • December 31, 2017, Carrie Redmon, Executive Director 2015-2017 last day; will be preceeded by Amy Harris & Sara Solomon
  • December 31, 2017 Sarah Hart, Board Secretary, Achilles Nashville Founder, last day on board

2018


  • January 14, 2018 1 Achilles athlete competed in the handcycle division of the Houston International Marathon (Sara Solomon’s 1st marathon guided by Achilles Nashville guide Susie Bosquet and 1 guide for Houston Achilles)
  • January 14, 2018 1 Achilles Nashville guide (Amy H) guided a wheelchair athlete in the Houston Half Marathon
  • January 17, 2018 Presentation to Liposcomb University Service and Learning Together (SALT) program to inform and recruit potential volunteers from Special Education/ Education students
  • January 17, 2018 Wednesday practice cancelled snow and ice
  • January 23, 2018 Forms to date show 460 Guides/ Volunteers and 331 Athletes
  • January 27, 2018 1 athlete and 1 guide participated in the Zoo Run 5k
  • February 1, 2018 Presentation to Lipscomb University Special Education Intro Class (Robbie Hampton Professor) to inform and recruit potential volunteers from Special Education/ Education students )approx dozen studetns in class)
  • February 10, 2018 Vision Seminar (Fighting Blindness Foundation) at Vanderbilt University, Achilles booth to share information with approximatelty 150 participants
  • 13th Achilles (ED and Secretary Board) met with Mike Ellson at Christ Presbyterian Academy to discuss options for a potential work together (e.g., project, track time). Mike is following up with coaches on staff and will follow up with us
  • 14th Aramark Health Fair Achilles booth to share information with approximatelty 150 participants
  • 16th Achilles begin a mini training session as part of a community outreach with Frieds Life organization, to culminate in the Race Judicata on April 7
  • 17th Hot Chocolate 5k and 15k. Achilles had 12 athletes and 18 guides participate in the Annual Hot Chocolate Race. Stephanie and Dwaine completed the 15k while other athletes completed the 5k. Hot Chocolate race director allowed ALL Achilles athletes and guides to have an early start
  • Month Feb. 372WN Magazine is on site at Achilles, writer (3 nights) and photographer (1 night) to do a story on Achilles Nashville for April issue
  • Feb 24th Predators 5k, 2 athletes, Amy Saffell and Chassity Chaote, along with their guides, Becky Richardson and Lauren Kollinger, participated in the Predator’s Run
  • March 3-4, Achilles Executive Director, took the Road Runners Club of America’s Coaches training; this training was conducted at Lifetime Fitness in Franklin and after passing a test, certifies the ED as a RRCA run coach
  • March 2018; 2 former Achilles Nashville participants; 1 guide and 1 athlete, begin Achilles Chapters in other cities, guide started a chapter in ATL, athlete started chapter in SC
  • As of March 11, year to date, 23 new guides and 9 new athletes (this is inclusive of Friends Life group)
  • March 22, ED presenting to Cara Miller class at Belmont OT students (Lunch & Learn) re: Achilles and volunteer/ guide/ practicum experience
  • March 25, Peter Pressman, Nashville Striders member, Achilles member and board member, leader in the running community, passed away
  • March 29, 2018 Caring for the Community Agency Fair Healthtrust, Parallon, Sarah Cannon (1,200 employees to attend)
  • April 6, Last Friend’s Life Practice, 8-week community outreach spring training session leading up to Race Judicata
  • April 7, Race Judicata, Achilles and ABLE Youth were beneficiaries, 23 athletes, 38 guides, and 2 volunteers. Allstate also provided 5 volunteers for 4 hour block; this enabled Achilles to submit for an Allstate Helping Hands Grant
  • April 7, National Federation of the Blind, presentation at state meeting for approximately 50 participants. Presentation was focused on Achilles and adapted sports..
  • April 14, Athlete Amy Saffel and guide Becky Richardson participated in the Dairy Dash 5k
  • April 14-17 Boston Marathon weekend; Stephane Zundel and guides Amy Harris and Tess Levison, Tony Grossi and guide Olaf Wasternack ran in the Boston Marathon. Ed Sieffert, Nashville guide guided a blind athlete from another group. Amy, Stephanie, Tess, Ed attended the 25thanniversary of Team With a Vision Dinner Awards where Richard Hunter was recognized.
  • April 16, Running of the Boston Marathon
  • April 18, Achilles turns 6! Birthday/ anniversary feel on a regualr practice night; BIG turnout for the celebration
  • April 27, Ensworth Social Issues Conference and Presentation; Achilles with Frances Lavey (Sr student who did her Sr Project workign with Achilles), focus was on how people are more alike that different
  • April 28, Scott Porter FL (hand cycler) and Steve Gokey CA (blind runner) joined our group of 16 athletes, 28 guides, and 5 volunteers. Theresa Khayyam finsihed the full marathon, Katie Harbison completed her first half marathon, JRod had a PR in wheelchair division, Lizzy and Amy S had a PR in the half
  • Achilles participated in the BIG Payback for the 2ndyear, donations during this 24 hour day of giving totaled a little over 8000 with 111 donors
  • May 5, Mud Run 5k, Dwaine Jones participatd with guides Randy Hodge and John Patton
  • May 15, Amy met with Allegra Footprint Fund (received $500 grant funding for H&P 2018)
  • May 19, Titans 5k, Chris Pennington participated with guide Randy Hodge
  • May 21, 2ndannual fundraiser with FarmBurger; great turnout; Achilles will receive 10% of the sales from 4-9 pm
  • May 30, Mtg with Dell Corporation Employee Resource Group (True Ability) to share info on Achilles and H&P race needs
  • June 25, 2018 2ndAnnual Chipotle Fundraiser raised approx. $1,200 (50% of sales)
  • July 4, 2018 10 athletes and 15 guides participated in the Firecracker 5000 Run2Liv 5K at Opry Mills (in memory of Peter Pressman)
  • July 4, 2018 2 Achilles athletes Theresa Khayyam participated in the Peachtree Classic ATL with guide Ali Mencher
  •  August 7, 2018 Achilles athlete Joe Shaw and guides Amy Harris and Carrie Redmon participated in crossfit class at HDub to promote Achilles Hope and Possibility (H&P)
  • August 29, 2018 Presentation of check from Young Lawyer’s Division Race Judicata (approx $11,000)
  • September 4, 2018 Labor Day Classic, Achilles athlete Amy Saffell ran with guide Amy Harris, Jim Troutt Achilles guide biked guided Zion Whitlock (ABLE Youth athlete). Minna Fields, Achilles guide won the women’s division.
  • September  6. 2018, Booth at SALT Fair Lipscomb University
  • September 7, 2018, Directors Amy Harris and Sara Solomon did an Achilles presentation for Robbie Hampton’s special ed. class at Lipscomb University
  •  September 28, 2018 Sharing Change awarded $3,000 to Achilles
  • September 29, 2018 Achilles Booth at Williamson County Ventures Health Expo (Adaptive Sports)
  • October 6, 2018 8 Achilles athletes and 15 guides participated in the 3rdannual Bison Boogie at Lipscomb University
  •  October 6, 2018 National Blind Sports Day recognized at the Bison Boogie
  • October 6, 2018 Achilles athletes Amy Saffell and Jim Sheoron participated with guides Sharon Ruiz and Sean Skillern
  • October 13, 2018 Achilles represented Nashville Chapter with a chili for the chili cook off at the National Federation for the Blind Fundraiser
  • October 20, 2018 Achilles 5thAnnual Hope & Possibility Race was held at the Dominican Campus; approximately 500 participants (runners, volunteers)
  • November 4, 2018 Athlete Chassity Choate and guide Allison Brooks participate in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Orlando
  • November 4, 2018 Athletes Dwaine Jones with guides Sarah Hart and Randy Hodge; athlete Tony Grossi with guides Beth Gottlieb and Olaf Wasterknack; athlete Matt Davis all participated in the NYC Marathon
  • November 5, 2018 Achilles Director met with Opportunity NOW Tara Morgan to discuss opportunities for HS interns with Achilles
  • November 8, 2018 Achilles Director met with staff from FF Nashville to discuss charity give back program FF is having in the spring 2019 as part of the spring training program. Achilles will be one of the selected charities.
  • November22, 2018 Boulevard Bolt 5 Miler. 5 Athletes and 10 guides participated.
  • November 30, 2018 9 Achilles athletes and 14 guides participated in the St Jude Memphis marathon weekend (5k, 10k, half, full marathon).
  • November 4, 2018 Directors did an Achilles presentation with Cathy Hinton’s PT class at Belmont; 40 students
  • December 12, 2018 Achilles 6thAnnual Holiday Party
  • Peter Pressman award went o Ginger Roelle, Mike Moberg award went to Dwaine Jones; guides recognized by athletes (Allison Brooks by Chassity Choate; Randy Hodge by Dwaine Jones; Taylor Smith by Annie Donnell and Stephanie Zundel; John Saba by Lizzy Solomon; Lauren Weaver by Daniel Bregman; Amy Harris by Katie Harbison)

2019


  • January 11, 2019 Achilles director did an Achilles awareness presentation with a group of students from the education service learning area. Approximately 24 students participated.
  • January 26, 2019 Achilles directors and Achilles athlete, Annie Donnell, and Achilles guide, Taylor Smith, spoke to the Fleet Feet Spring training group to talk about Achilles organization and guiding.
  • January 26, 2019 Achilleas athlete, Chassity Chaote, along with guides (Amy Harris, Ashlee Whitehouse) did the Zoo Run 5k.
  • February 9, 2019 Spring Marathon/ Half marathon Training Practices started
  • February 20, 2019 Sarah Hart was recognized as the Darryll Waltrip Hometown Hero for her work in founding Achilles nashville and her ongoing involvement.
  • February 23, 2019 1 Achilles athlete and two guides (who are not part of TNABA) participated in the TNABA GoalBall Tournament at TN School for the Blind
  • March 4, 2019 Lipscomb Video Luncheon for select non-profit groups to query interest in Lipscomb film students assisting with a video project for agencies to utilize in their advertising/ marketing
  • March 12, 2019 Director met with guide William Harwood and owner of the Soul BBQ restaurant in Franklin to discuss plans for a social event and min fundraiser for Achilles/ Hardwin Adventure group and to have lunch at Soul BBQ after a brief trail run at nearby Smith Park
  • March 4-16, 2019 Survey Monkey was sent to all current guides and athletes to query such things as: why they come to Achilles, whether they would like more training, whether they want to do more social events, and more…Results were shared with board and with members via Emma
  • March 22, 2019 McCabe Park Community Center, home of Achilles, and where materials (e.g. practice, handcycles) were stored needed space back as McCabe was outgrowing their space. Achilles moved to Sore Room off Murphy Rd. (cost approx $200 per month)
  • March 28, 2019 Call (Carrie, Amy) with Lyft executives to explore any grant funding/ discounts or sponsosrship for H&P
  • March 30, 2019 Athlete Carson participated in his first ever 5k at Camp Horizon, guided by Olaf Waternack and Haskell Murray
  • April 2019 Mail out to 50 agencies for marketing purposes (e.g., agencies that are connected to people with disabilities)
  • April 4, 2019 Achilles participated in the 2019 Caring for the Community healthfair sponsored by HCA, Healthtrust, Sarah Cannon, Parallon
  • April 6, 2019 16th Annual Race Judicata Achilles was beneficiary for the RJ along with ABLE Youth, 9 Achilles athletes and 18 guides, Achilles provided 5 guides for 9 ABLE Youth as well
  • April 6-8, 2019 Achilles athlete Stephanie Zundel traveled to Orlando to participate in the Star Wars Half Marathon. Stephanie was accompanied by guide Taylor Smith
  • April 12, 2019 Lipscomb University provided an all day social media training to (4-5) non-profits focusing on strategies for promoting agenciy work; Achilles Director and Assistant Director participated
  • April 13, 2019 Dairy Dash 5k/ 10k/ 15k 7 Achilles athletes and 13 guides participated, Lizzy Solomon and Matt Davis took 1st place for male/ female wheel2jn55 red
  • April 15, 2019 1 Achilles athlete (Tony Grossi) participated in the Boston Marathon along with guide Olaf Wasternack
  • April 17, 2019 Achilles celebrates its 7th birthday (birthday actually the 18th)
  • April 26, 2019 Hailey Braemer, Ensworth graduating Senior, does her Sr. Project final presentation, Achilles board president John Lavey, and Director(s) Amy Harris and Sara Solomon were invited to do presentation with Hailey at the Social Issues Conference
  • April 27, 2019 Rock and Roll Marathon/ Half Marathon/ 5k; 13 athletes and 24 guides participated
  • April 27, 2019 concludes the spring 2019 training
  • May 2, 2019 Achilles participated in the BIG Payback, 24-hour day of giving, sponsored by the Community Foundation. This was the 3rd year Achilles participated, and this year raised $10,260.00
  • May 5, 2019 Athlete Amy Saffell and guide Amy Harris participated in the Red Bull Wings for Life 5k at Shelby Bottoms
  • May 11, 2019 4 Achilles athletes and 7 guides ran in the Titans 5k
  • May 15, 2019 Athlete Annie Donnell, following her Belmont graduation and move back to St Louis began the St Louis Achilles chapter, 1st practice held May 15
  • May 18, 2019 Achilles participated in the Camp United Spinal Association at YMCA Camp; set up booth outdoors to share info about Achilles with people at the all day event
  • June 24, 2019 Achilles athlete Stephanie Zundel and guide Amy Harris participated in the 5k RC Cola/ Moon Pie Race in Bell Buckle, TN
  • July 4, 2019 10 Achilles athletes and 12 guides participated in the Peter Pressman Firecracker 5000 at Opry Mills
  • July 22, 2019 Chipotle Fundraiser raised $455.57
  • September 2, 2019 Labor Day Classic Achilles Nashville Achilles athlete, Amy Saffell participated with guides, Amy Harris and Ginger Roelle
  • September 9, 2019 FarmBurger Fundraiser raised $204.00
  • September 14, 2019 Fall training began for season
  • September 28, 2019 Ventures DisABILITY Resource Fair & Expo Williamson County; Directors participated in fair, booth display
  • September 29, 2019 Women’s Half Marathon Nashville Achilles athlete, Amy Saffell participated with guides, Amy Harris and Ginger Roelle
  • October 2, 2019 USABA National Blind Sports Day – Achilles recognized and participated in this national blind awareness day
  • October 5, 2019 Shelby Bottom Boogie 5 Achilles athletes and 10 guides participated in the 5k; 2 Achilles athletes and 4 guides participated in the 15k
  • October 13, Achilles directors set up booth exhibit at Core Power yoga to share H&P and Achilles info
  • October 17, Achilles Assistant Director met with staff at Emma to share info about Achilles
  • October 19, 2019 Achilles hosts its 6th annual Hope & Possibility Race; approximately 300 participants signed up for race
  • October 23, 2019 Young Lawyer’s Division of the Nashville Bar Association came to practice to present Achilles with a BIG check for approximately $9500 for the Race Judicata back in April
  • October 26, 2019, National Federation of the Blind Nashville Chapter 3rd Annual Chili Cookoff; Achilles participated in the chili cookoff and community event
  • Nov 3, 2019 Achilles athlete Annie Donnell participated in the NYC Marathon with guide Taylor Smith; also partcipating in NYC, athlete Tony Grossi
  • November 9, 2019, 8 Achilles athletes and 11 guides participated in the 4th Annual Bison Boogie 5k
  • November 23, 2019, Annual end of season Blvd. run and Bruegger’s Bagels
  • November 23, 2019, 3 Achilles guides volunteered and hosted an Achilles waterstop at the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Half Marathon
  • November 28, 2019, 9 Achilles athletes and 15 guides participated in the 5 mile Blvd. Bolt
  • December 6-9, 2019, Achilles athletes and guides travelled to West Palm Beach for marathon weekend; 5 athletes and 5 guides participated in the marathon relay, 2 athletes and 4 guides participated in the full marathon, 8 athletes and 10 guides participated in the half marathon; after race party at Mar-a-Largo with WPB chapter
  • December 11, 2019 ,Achilles Holiday Party at Burton Hills Clubhouse; approximately 70-75 attendees
  • December 11, 2019, last practice for the year 2019

2020


  • January 15, 1st practice 2020
  • January 8-10, 2020 Achilles handcyclist Sara Solomon travels with two guides, Taylor Smith and McKenzie Mellinger to Dafuskie Island SC to participate in the Dafuskie Ultra Marathon (39 miles)
  • February 8, 2020 Saturday Spring practices began
  • February 11, 2020 Achilles Directors and Treasurer attended the 100 Women Who Care Mtg to share information about Achilles
  • February 15, 2020 12 athletes and 18 guides participated in the Hot Chocolate 5k/ 15k
  • February 27, 2020 Achilles receives $2000 grant from Middle TN Electric Sharing Change
  • February 29, 2020 Achilles athlete, Sara Solomon, and guides, Taylor Smith, Minna Singer, and Chris Stachurski completed the Tom King Half Marathon
  • March 7, 2020 Achilles athletes and guides (25 total) volunteered to spend their Saturday morning practice time doing tornado clean up after the massive tornado damage in Nashville. An Achilles athlete had a family member who lost his house.
  • March 11, 2020 Coronavirus beginning to impact, last practice night until practices can safely resume
  • March 15, 2020 Achilles becomes a member of the Road Runners Club of America
  • Zoom Call Practice Summary Below (in lieu of meeting in person during COVID period, team took to Zoom for virtual meets during practice times)
    • March 18- Introduction of the new normal with guests NY Executive Director Emily, NY (and all) Chapter Director Eleanor, NY Marketing Lindsey; athlete Eddie Babin closed the call with an original song of his
    • March 25- Mexican dinner and margaritas; social; check in with athletes and guides
    • April 1- Getting to Know You on a Different Level: 2 truths and an April Fools Game
    • April 8- Training with Physical Therapist Brittany Enders; Q&A with Brittany; athlete Jp Williams closed the call with a song of his
    • April 15- Athletes and guides share their favorite memories and stories from Achilles
    • April 22- Continuing favorite story and had special guests past guide Virigina and past athlete Annie
    • April 29- Preparation for the BIG Payback next week
    • May 6 – the BIG Payback Kick-off and Guides shared tips for guiding
    • May 13 – Social, wear your favorite race shirt, medal and be prepred to share why it’s a fave
    • May 20-Director Amy shared the Achilles Re-emerging from COVID Plan with the group
    • May 27- Online workout options
    • June 3- Stephanie Zundel, Achilles athlete who moved from Nashville to Colorado joined the call, group discussed the virtual Race Judicata
    • June 10- Masks and safety moving ahead
    • June 17- Social, where people have been, comfort levels
    • June 24- Shared info on ABLE / Achilles athlete Savannah who recently passed away, Race Judicata info, Reviewed re-opening plan
  • April 4, 2020 Achilles Directors participate in a podcast interview for “I Run Because”
  • April Rock & Roll Postponed due to COVID, rescheduled for Nov 21
  • April 2020 Ensworth Social Conference cancelled due to COVID
  • May 6-7, 2020 Achilles participates in the Big Payback and raises just oveer $7000
  • July 1, 2020 Practices resume with all the guidelines for COVID (e.g., masks, social distancing, smaller group sizes, sanitation, temperature taking, staggered group times) Davidson County had moved to Phase 3. Kicked off practice with athletes and guides doing the virtual Race Judicata together at practice.
  • July 2, 2020 Mayor moved Davidson County back to Phase 2 (modified version), as community center was able to remain open, so was Achilles allowed to continue operating using the safety guidelines
  • July 8, 2020 new wheelchair athlete, Ben joined the group, groups running at 5:30 and again at 6:30
  • July 14, 2020 Theresa Khayyam, athlete, interviewed for Fleet Feet NY and partnership with Achilles NY
  • July 21, 2020 Athlete, Sara Solomon, interviewed for Fleet Feet NY and partnership with Achilles NY
  • July 23, 2020 H&P committee made the decision to do the 7th annual H&P as a virtual race
  • August 5, 2020 Group resumes 1st Wednesday of the month Pancho and Lefty dinner after practices