Achilles This Week

What is going on in Achilles

NO Practice this Wednesday! Come to the Firecracker 5000 (5k at Opry Mills on the 4th July)

Week In Review

Wednesday: Nothing better than a beautiful summer night on the Greenway with our Achilles family. Oh, and a BIG WIN by Vanderbilt at the same time in the College World Series baseball…Go Achilles and Go Dores!
Saturday: Check out some of the great pics from the Predators Fangtastic 5k run on Saturday. Achilles was well represented with Team Amy S.,
Team Dwaine, and Team Chassity. What a beautiful day they had for this fun run! A great shot of Haskell and Carson at the East Nashville Track Meet too! Carson did awesome, can’t wait to see him at the Firecracker 5000!

Upcoming Activities and Events with Achilles

July 4 -Firecracker 5000 – 5k run starts and ends at Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant at Opry Mills. There’s a costume contest and a Chuy’s buffet line after the race….great way to start your 4th of July.

July 22 Chipotle’s Fundraiser – Mark your calendars for dinner at Chipotle anytime 5-9 PM. Whether you dine in or take it to-go, mention Achilles and we will receive a portion of the proceeds!

September 9 – Farm Burger Fundraiser/ Social Come eat at Farm Burger, portions of meal go back to Achilles. This is an annual Achilles event and a favorite of many! 

October 19, 2019 Achilles 6th Annual Hope & Possibility:  6th annual Hope & Possibility Race will be October 19, 2019. Please tell your friends, family, co-workers and anyone who you think might be interested. It’s a great walk/ run/ roll…1-miler or 5-miler, family friendly, dog friendly, stroller friendly kind of race….whether you are fast, slow, young or old, come on out! Register at

Dec. 6-8 West Palm Beach Marathon Weekend: It’s not too late to indicate if you would like to participate in this race weekend.

Tips for Guiding Athletes

Read about guiding Athletes with disabilities

Achilles guides serve as the athlete’s eyes, ears, guide, motivator, and most importantly…trusted running partner!  Guides help to welcome Achilles athletes to the wonderful world of running, by promoting friendship, encouraging the athlete, helping them build self-confidence with running activities, & having fun!

When you ask a guide how they feel about guiding they generally always respond that they get back much more than they give.

Things to ask your athlete prior to guiding

Achilles athletes have a wide range of disabilities. It is critical that guides and athletes have good, open communication. When you are assigned to an Achilles athlete, don’t be afraid to ask the following:

  • Have you been exercising/walking/running? What is your exercise experience?
  • What specific challenge(s) do you have related to running, walking, cycling?
  • Do you use any special equipment? If so, what equipment or adaptations do you use? (ex. tethers, quad canes, braces, crutches, prostheses, wheelchair, handcycle)
  • What do I need to know about your equipment and how to best help you?
  • What are your goals and how can we best help you meet these?

What you will do as a guide

Guide Bib

As an Achilles guide, you might do the following:

  • Help an athlete with a disability become familiar and proficient with any special equipment if needed (e.g., using a tether, using a handcycle)
  • Participate in training workouts with the athlete; consistency helps.
  • Provide companionship and positive feedback.
  • Provide guidance and running advice during workouts and/or races if you are comfortable and knowledgeable doing so; generally this is left to the team coaches.
  • Help with race-day or day before logistics (e.g. packet pick-up, attaching timing chips).
  • Participate in the race alongside the athlete with whom you’ve been training
  • Carry the snacks or nutrition for the athlete during a run.
  • Get water/ Gatorade at water stops as needed.
  • Provide encouragement and positive feedback. Your job is to ensure that he/she has a positive experience.
  • If your athlete becomes tired, encourage him/her to walk or take a short break.
  • Provide course navigation.

If anything else is needed or requested, bring it to the attention of your chapter leaders. (Note: Guides for travel races might have more responsibility, and these will be clearly outlined before trips).

Running with a visually impaired athlete 

  • Run beside your athlete. If you are in front, even slightly, the athlete can trip on your feet.
  • We will give you a tether, which is simply a shoestring with a loop on either end. Hold onto the loop with your hand. Do not tie it around your, or your athlete’s, wrist, which could be dangerous if either of you fell.
  • In the beginning, have your athlete hold your elbow, or hold the tether closely to your athlete’s hand. As you get more comfortable with your athlete, you may loosen up, allowing more distance between you.
  • Give an estimated distance to the top or bottom of a hill, bridge, curb, etc.
  • Otherwise, just look at the landscape, and tell your athlete what you see! Bridges, trees, golfers, other runners, bikers, creek, sunset, etc.
  • Offer key directional verbal support such as:
    • “Gentle right/left” to indicate a gentle curve in the path
    • “90 degrees” or “sharp left/right”
    • “Tighten up” tells the athlete to get close, and hold your elbow as you navigate a narrow or congested passage (bridges, runners coming towards you)
    • “Stop” when guide and athlete need to stop quickly (dog/car/obstacle darts in front of path)

Click here for more information on running with a visually impaired athlete

Running with a wheelchair or handcycle athlete

  • A flag at standing eye level height is required.
  • Safety helmets must be worn by Achilles athletes on wheels.
  • Pushrim wheelchair and handcycle athletes are generally fast, especially on the downhill. They will likely get ahead of you. You can catch up on the inclines.
  • Some races do allow guides on bicycles on the course.  Contact the race director at least 6 weeks prior to the event to inquire…never assume!

Upcoming Events

See what we races we are going to do in the spring of 2019

February 16th Hot Chocolate 5k/15k

Location: Bicentennial Mall State Park

Time: 7:00 am

February  23rd Tom King Classic 5k/Half Marathon

Location: Nissan Stadium

Time: 7:55 wheelchair start, 8:00 half marathon start, 8:15 5k start

April  13th  – Purity Moosic City DairyPure® Dash

Location: Metro Center

Time: 5k starts 7:30; 15K Starts 8:00

April 27th St. Jude’s Rock ‘N’ Roll, 5k/half/full marathon

Location: 8th Ave  & Broadway

Time: 7:15 marathon and half marathon start, 6:45 5k start