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Winning the race against preventable blindness

Join a charity race to fight blindness while the ESCRS visits Vienna

Aidan Hanratty

Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2018

Vienna is a beautiful city by day. By night, under the stars, it shines even brighter. Every year in September, thousands take part in the erste bank vienna night run. Established in 2007, when 3,700 participants were registered, the 5km run takes place along the city’s iconic Ringstrasse, around the historic Old Town. Last year more than 20,000 runners registered for the event.

This September, when the 36th Congress of the ESCRS takes place in Vienna, delegates are encouraged to register and take part in this special event, taking in some of the city’s most famous sights in an unexpected style. Runners will see the Vienna State Opera, Austrian Parliament Building, University of Vienna and more by the autumn moonlight.

The run is organised by Light for the World, a global disability and development organisation established in 1988. With a focus on inclusivity and development, they seek to enable crucial eye health services and empower people with disabilities in some of the poorest regions of the world. This entails work in the areas of eye health and blindness prevention, as well as advocating for the rights of the blind and vision-impaired in development policies at UN, WHO and EU level.

The charity group has its own team, creating a kind of beacon of hope with its yellow t-shirts, and this year the team will feature Kenyan Paralympian Henry Wanyoike. Wanyoike has won medals at three consecutive Paralympic games (golds in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 and bronze in Beijing 2008) as well as setting records in marathons and half-marathons worldwide.

Reflecting the inclusivity of the charity, the race is intended to be a fun activity to be shared with others, especially those with disabilities. There is no prize money as the race is for charity, but the winners will receive a symbolic small statute of a runner with a picture of Vienna.

Since its inauguration the race has raised €800,000 and helped Light for the World give sight back to nearly 27,000 people worldwide. Last year, Light for the World provided medication for nearly 13 million people and provided eye surgery for 93,000 people. Charity tickets are tax-deductible and cost €35.

Joining the race will help contribute to the fight against preventable blindness. Make this trip to Vienna one to remember by taking part in the erste bank vienna night run 2018!

Please visit here to sign up. For more information see here.

The erste bank vienna night run takes place on September 25. The run will commence at 19:50 at the Grillparzerstraße corner of Universitätsring.

Update (23-08-2018): An earlier version of this article stated that Francis Karanja would be participating in the run. This is no longer the case.