Athlete AWD FAQ

How much does membership cost? 
Membership in Achilles International is free of charge. 

What are the benefits of membership?  
Camaraderie, fun, achievement, and the tremendous confidence boost that comes when you do something you didn't think you could do! 

When you are a member in good standing, we can almost guarantee you entry into the New York City Marathon, and depending on sponsorship availability, may be able to facilitate participation in other races we do as a group. With regard to NYC Marathon, we also negotiate room rates with an area hotel and can pass the savings on to our athletes. 

How do I join?
Please complete our online application or a paper application and send to ecox@achillesinternational.org. You will receive a welcome package in the mail after processing which can take 4 to 6 weeks. 

A chapter of Achilles does not exist where I live. How can I still be a member of Achilles? 
The first step is to complete a membership form and send it to Achilles New York. You will receive a t-shirt in the mail along with a welcome letter encouraging you to get out and get moving with friends, family members, etc. Register for local races and represent Achilles by wearing your Achilles t-shirt. Send us photos and race results and keep in touch with us. We love to hear from our members and we need to know you in order to recommend you for participation in the NYC Marathon.

I would like to start a chapter of Achilles where I live. Where do I begin?  
First complete the proper membership application (either Volunteer or Athlete With Disability) and send it to Ellie at ecox@achillesinternational.org along with a note stating your intention to develop a chapter.  You will be contacted by Ellie thereafter. 

Volunteer FAQ

I've seen people in Achilles T-shirts running in my area. It looks interesting. What are they doing? 
Quite simply, they are coming together to run. Achilles pairs able-bodied runners with athletes with disabilities (AWD) and together they run.  Eventually, when the AWD is ready, we enter races together. 

How do I join? 
Complete a volunteer membership form here and submit to rkoplin@achillesinternational.org

How do I find out if there is a chapter of Achilles where I live? 
Please look at the National Chapters page which is alphabetized by state or the International Chapters page which is alphabetized by country.

An Achilles chapter does not appear to exist in my area. What should I do?  
You might consider starting a chapter where you live.  It's not for everybody, but if you think it's something you have the passion and time for, complete a membership form and send it to ecox@achillesinternational.org along with a note stating your interest in chapter development.  Ellie will contact you to discuss. 

If chapter development is not for you right now, ask about volunteering to guide an AWD in the NYC Marathon on the first Sunday in November annually.  Also, keep in touch with us on Facebook. We often post opportunities to guide people in different geographic areas there. 

How do I apply to be a marathon guide? 
If you are talking about the NYC Marathon, the application will go on the www.achillesinternational.org  website in July and must be completed within that same month. The matching process takes awhile and we will tell you if you are assigned to an AWD in September.  As you can well imagine, many of our athletes prefer to run with people they train with regularly. Like our Facebook page, because if we need a guide for a marathon, we usually post opportunities there. 

Donor FAQ

How do you use the money that I donate?  
We have a variety of programs that need funding: Achilles Kids; Achilles FREEDOM TEAM, Achilles Para-Triathlon Team, and all of our chapters always need funds for race entry fees, travel expenses, running gear, and equipment.  When you donate online, you can specify what you would like your donation spent on, including general overhead. 

How can I become more actively involved and help your organization? 
You can get involved by becoming a Charity Partner for featured races, you

How can I set up a personal fundraising page?  

Please click to set up your own personal fundraising page on Firstgiving.  Read more about Getting Started and click the green Start Fundraising button. Next, choose to join an event or create your own independent page. Follow the instructions to create a FirstGiving account. Make sure to add text and photos to your page and be sure to send your personalized link to your friend, family and social media network to garner donations. All donations are still tax deductible and directly benefit Achilles. Achilles will supply letters of acknowledgement that your supporters can use for tax purposes. 

I have also seen Achilles pages on other fundraising sites. Is it okay to use them and/or make donations there?
Yes!  Absolutely!  We have pages on Crowdrise, YouCaring, NY Charities, as well as FirstGiving, Facebook Causes and others.  As a small not-for-profit organization, we go where the people are to fundraise. 

Race Officials

We would like to give the Achilles athletes with disabilities (AWDs) free admission to our races and would like the guides to pay their way. 
While that is very kind of you, we prefer it to be the other way around.  We would like to pay for the AWDs entry fees and make sure their names are in the results, they receive the t-shirt and medal and any of the other goodies provided a registered runner.  As for the guides, they do not get the benefits of full registration.  Their names are not in the race results, nor are they entitled to the T-shirts and other goodies given registered runners. However, if you need Achilles guides to sign a waiver, they will do so. 

How many guides does an athlete with disability need?
That depends on the AWD and the distance to cover. Let's take a blind runner who is going for a 3.5 hour marathon -- Achilles recommends 3 guides -- one on each side and one out in front clearing the way with his or her voice. If the blind runner was a 6 hour marathoner, we would still recommend 3 guides, only the third guide would run in back protecting the tether from runners who may not see it. A blind runner should have a minimum of two guides on a marathon course simultaneously to guarantee a good race experience for all. Basically, we would appreciate if you would rely on our chapter leaders for their advice. They are familiar with each athlete's needs and will make arrangements for the greatest good.