Community Service Spotlight: Amjed Aboukhadijeh
Jan. 14, 2011
Amjed Aboukhadijeh, a freshman runner on the UCLA cross country and track and field teams, recently served as the eyes for a blind runner during the California International Marathon, held last month in Northern California. Aboukhadijeh helped guide Richard Hunter to a second-place finish in the visually impaired division and a Boston Marathon qualifying time of 3:20.18.
The two men met during Thanksgiving break when they did a training run together and Aboukhadijeh turned out to be a natural in guiding Hunter. Aboukhadijeh flew up the weekend before his first week of finals at UCLA to run in the marathon. During the marathon, Aboukhadijeh ran the first six miles with another runner and then the last 20 guiding Hunter to the finish line. Amjed would stop at rest stations to get Hunter water and salt tablets and then run to catch up with him.
Amjed was helping his high school coach on a cross country coach when he was originally approached by the parent of a visually impaired young man who needed a guide to run with. Hunter heard about Aboukhadijeh from the parent of the young man and got the two together.
After his experience running with and guiding Hunter, Aboukhadijeh has decided that he will guide a runner whenever he can.
Click here to read the news feature about Hunter and Aboukhadijeh's story from the Mountain Democrat.
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