600 km
Blindly for
Blind Children

The journey is more important than the destination

Charity

Completed: 17 September 2018
The biggest challenge: tendonitis
The catchphrase: “The journey is more important than the destination. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up!”

When I lost sight, it was sport that got me back into the game. Now that I’m an adult and pursuing my sporting dreams, I’ve decided to help those who need it most – children with visual impairments.

Under the auspices of the Leontinka Foundation, which also helped me in the past, I organized a charity run “600 KM BLINDLY”. The purpose of such a crazy challenge was nothing less than to run across the entire Czech Republic from west to the east, in just 10 days!

I started on Saturday, 8 September 2018, at 8:00 am from the westernmost point of the Czech Republic. I was accompanied by a camper van on the way, with trackers taking turns at my side to act as my “spare eyes”.

In a public fund-raising campaign on www.darujme.cz people could support me by buying kilometres or they could physically run a part of the route with me – thanks to a GPS Tracker donated by the Cesta za snem (Following the Dream) organisation, which showed on online maps where I was just running.

Connected by a rubber band on our wrists, we covered an average of 60 km per day, running through towns and cities like Aš, Prague, Pardubice, enjoying the natural terrain and the pitfalls of the urban jungle. But the extreme load took its toll and about halfway through the trip I got tendonitis. Every step was extremely painful, and the medication didn’t work. Many friends advised me to end the challenge… But that wouldn’t be me giving up. Instead, I had a tandem bike brought in and finished the rest of the route in the saddle.

We crossed the finish line of the 600 km pilgrimage to the easternmost town Jablunkov on 17 September 2018 and I have to say I feel really proud. I don’t take pride in myself, but in all the people who put their hearts into the project. Thanks to them, we managed to raise a wonderful amount of 283,058 CZK, which allowed for example swimming training in a private lane for blind Davídek, an inflatable playground for two blind brothers, a tandem bicycle for Martínek, who is visually impaired, or an exercise bike for blind Linda. They are wonderful children who love to move, but who also have to deal with disabilities, which is not always easy – I know something about that.

The charity run was also captured by documentary filmmaker Jana Ševčíková. The whole adventure is recorded in my diary “600 km Blinded”, which you can buy in an e-shop.

I also very much appreciate the “Personality who motivates philanthropy” award from the Donors Forum, which I see as our joint success.

Thank you to all partners and trackers. Without your help to the children and to the project itself, it really wouldn’t have been possible.

So I pat everyone on the back and thank them publicly and by name: Terka Podzimková, Lenka Zmeškalová, Monika Zmeškalová, Jiří Hort, Kateřina Kourková, Kateřina Machová, Dita Entová, Tereza Slancová, Leona Babická, Marek Peterka, Martin Gabla, Lukáš Nožička, Jaroslav Zmeškal, Tomáš Zahálka, Tomáš Dilhof, Miloš Škorpil, Petra Cuřínová, Ladislav Kolář, Pavel Čížek, Václav Malinský, Ivoš Sušický..

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