Nowhere to run

12:57 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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NEWARK, Ohio (WCMH) -- Bob Jutzi doesn't let his visual impairment stop him from enjoying his daily run. Unable to run outside, he found the indoor running track at Ohio's Licking County YMCA in December of 2001.

"A sign was posted on the door alerting people to a blind runner. I wore a bright colored vest. I ran in the opposite direction to supposedly make seeing me easier," said Jutzi.

Bob began running in 1976 while attending a school for blind children in Minnesota.

"At the time, the only way for us to run was the track. It was six lanes, with guide wires dividing each lane. At each end of the guide wire was a piece of tape. We would run until we hit the tape at one end, spun around, went back," said Bob.

But last week, Jutzi claims YMCA staff told him he could no longer use the track and would have to run using a treadmill.

"I ran into somebody, who was in my lane. When I ran into him I could tell he was facing me. He went sprawling and I continued running. And after I got done with my shower, I was called to the director's office and I was told he'd like to see me on the treadmill," Bob explained unhappily.

Bob said the YMCA is discriminating against him, but Licking County YMCA CEO Edward Bohren denies the claim. He's known Bob for 12 years.

"It came to the point where it wasn't safe for Bob, as well as our members, on the track. So we setup a system where he can come and use the treadmill, as well as, any other machines," explained Bohren.

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