The Chicago Marathon is full of stories that truly inspire -- a man who lost over a 100 pounds and is running for the first time; a Chicago cop who runs to raise money for the families of fallen officers; or a guy who left a Wall Street career to help cancer patients.
But let's not forget that marathon runners need inspiration, too. Enter David Kuhn, an enthusiastic runner who's legally blind.
Kuhn's marathon plans took a detour last week when the person who'd committed to be his sighted guide for the 26.2-mile run fell through. He needs the guide to help him navigate the considerable obstacles on the marathon course -- mostly other runners.
Kuhn says he went into "full panic mode" when his guide dropped out. So the 57-year-old put out a call for help through a running store. Suddenly, the calls and e-mails started flooding in, the Sun-Times reported.
More than 100 people have volunteered to run with Kuhn and serve as his guide -- so many that he had to turn most down. But they weren't deterred. After hearing Kuhn's story -- who runs to raise money for an agency that provides services to homebound seniors -- people just wanted to run near him. Now, he's their inspiration.
Kuhn now has a new guide, and eight backups. He also has an entourage that plans to keep pace with him during the marathon, just to get a bit of that inspirational vibe.
"I'm sitting here thinking: Just Monday I'd felt like such a burden to ask people to run with me, and now I'm finding out that, for a lot of people, I'm the motivating force to help them through. It's crazy," Kuhn told the Sun-Times.