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What it's like to run as a visually handicapped person

Written by
Tiffany Chow

What’s it like to navigate the urban city, much less run, as a visually handicapped person? We gained some insights to that at a recent media preview of Runninghour 2015, Singapore’s first race in which participants run alongside those with special needs. Registration closes February 25.

1. Trust is hard

There are already many obstacles (e.g. other people, stairs, potholes) when running with eyes open. Imagine pounding the pavement without being able to see what’s ahead of you, with only your partner as a guide. Not easy, isn’t it? But that’s exactly what these visually handicapped runners are doing – mustering courage and learning to trust their partners to guide them through the race.

2. Running together builds relationships

During the race, both the guide and the handicapped runner must match their pace and depend on each other to avoid accidents. You may spend more time breathing than talking, but a bond is formed when you successfully complete a race with someone.

3. You can’t always be politically correct

A few visually handicapped runners we met shared with us that sometimes you just have to be blunt. Because runners will get mentally tired during a long race, the straightforward phrase ‘blind person coming through’ is more immediately comprehensible than shouting ‘visually handicapped coming through’.  

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