Paralympic runner Chaz Davis, who is legally blind, won the annual Martin Richard Memorial One Mile Invitational, which was held on Aug. 18 at Moakley Park in South Boston. The event honors the life of Dorchester’s own Martin Richard and benefits the YES program and the Martin Richard Foundation.
Davis placed first in the 1 Mile Men’s Seeded Race with a time of 4:28. Brad Mish of Dorchester and David Chorney of Boston placed second and third, finishing at 4:29 and 4:37 respectively.
The event included youth 400-meter races, 1-mile open and seeded races, and a 1-mile non-competitive walk/run/roll. Adaptive races were offered at the invitational for wheelchair racers and runners with visual and mobile impairments.
Davis, who grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts, was invited to run at the event alongside other adaptive runners from Adaptive Sports New England. He has competed on the Grafton High School and the University of Hartford Track & Field teams. In 2012, Chaz was diagnosed with hereditary optic neuropathy and became legally blind. Following the race, Chaz spent time with YES youth answering questions, signing autographs, and posing for photos.
“It was an honor to have Paralympic runner Chaz Davis at YES’s 3rd Annual Martin Richard Memorial One Mile Invitational,” said YES Executive Director, Bryan Van Dorpe. “He truly embodies the spirit of the event, showing our youth that people of all abilities and backgrounds can overcome challenges in their life to achieve their full potential. We look forward to cheering on Chaz when he represents the US in the Rio Paralympics in September.”
Davis qualified for the US Paralympic Track & Field team and will participate in the 1,500 and 5,000-meter races at the Rio Paralympics in September.
YES serves over 1,600 youth annually through its three signature programs: Operation SnowSports, Outdoor Adventure, and the YES Academy. Additional information about YES can be found at yeskids.org.