SUPPORTING THE FEARLESS – GUIDING THE BLIND
Amy is a trail/ultra runner who lives in South Deerfield MA (USA) and has been running in inov-8s for over a decade. She’s been guiding blind runners for 5 years now and hopes to continue for many more years (and miles). She kindly wrote up what it’s like to guide blind runners and how she approaches the role.
As I approach a partially buried culvert, I slow my stride to give myself time to process how to get over this protruding obstacle. I quickly blurt out the instructions of ‘Culvert ahead. Jump over in three, two, one.’ The runner next to me lifts his knees up on my count to seamlessly hurdle over the culvert. I sigh relief and focus on the next obstacle for us to clear ahead. You see, the runner next to me is visually impaired, and I am responsible for guiding him along the trails.
I’ve been guiding visually impaired runners for many years now. To be honest, it’s equal parts fulfilling and stressful. It’s an awesome thing to literally be the ‘eyes’ for another runner, where much like pacing a runner, you’re playing a small role in helping them succeed at their race, or in enabling them to play on the trails. However, you’re also responsible for keeping your runner upright and giving them great guidance to allow them to run to their fitness level – and that requires incredible focus and communication (and skill). Read the rest of the article here.