Running Blind

While running last Sunday’s half-marathon, I found myself behind a man who had a loose cloth dangling from his wrist. As I got closer to him, I noticed that the runner beside him was holding onto what was not a cloth, but some kind of strap. Suddenly, I got it; they made a team of a visually impaired runner and guide.

Watching the two of them running down Red Hill Valley Parkway together was absolutely inspiring. Each runner’s step was in sync with other’s; they were fluid. The visually impaired runner was especially light on his feet and always landed on his forefoot; his partner did the same. They spoke, one telling the other approximately how many more steps to take until a turn, stating kilometre markers, commenting on other runners that they were approaching and trying to pass – and how to get around them.

I was amazed by the fact that the vision impaired runner was able to run as smoothly and as fast as he did. But, I was in awe by the dedication and training that went into the guide’s run. He was obviously a strong runner but, rather than racing for himself, he likely spent months training with his partner so that they could run as one, like a well-oiled machine. I imagine him as someone who has done as much as he can for himself with running; now, he is giving back to the community and guiding others in their dreams.

Here I am, a week later, and I still can’t get the image of these two running together out of my mind. And, I keep thinking the same word over and over: WOW!

9 Replies to “Running Blind”

  1. That's a great image. My friend paced her blind cousin through the Chicago Marathon this year and said it was one of her best experiences ever. I love that people give the visually impaired the opportunity to experience running outdoors!

  2. Makes you feel thankful to participate in this great sport and realize how easy we have it.
    I also like your takeaway about reaching a point in your running career where your satisfaction is derived from the success of others. That's a good life lesson. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow! That is so cool! The guide has to be such a good soul. And then the other – what faith you have to put into someone to RUN with you. I wish I could have seen that for myself. Very inspiring!

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