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Blind lawyer says he will compete in New York marathon despite constant pain from accident

Posted Oct 30, 2013 5:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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New York City Marathon, 2010. Marianne Campolongo / Shutterstock.com

Richard Bernstein was training for a marathon when he was hit by a bicyclist in Central Park in August 2012, breaking his left hip and sending him to the hospital for 10 weeks.

Bernstein, who is blind, thought the injuries might keep him from competing, but he plans to complete the New York City marathon—his 18th marathon—this Sunday, the Detroit News reports. It will be slow going for Bernstein, who struggles every day with pain.

“This marathon is going to be challenging,” he told the newspaper. “Every time your left foot hits the ground, it, the pain, resonates through your whole body.”

Bernstein trained by swimming, rather than running, and he has a customized shoe to cushion the pain. “Athletics is the way I learned to deal with being blind, my first disability,” he told the newspaper. “I cannot allow this to be a closing chapter.”

Bernstein has filed a lawsuit against New York City in an effort to make the park safer for pedestrians, perhaps by improved traffic flow or crossing guards. His deposition will probably take place Monday, the day after the marathon.

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