Photo of the warm up at the beginning of the session. Everyone jogging on the spot.

News: Guided running fun at Hereford athletics track

A huge thank you to Adam Dyson, from of our #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2023 team, for leading a brilliant guide running taster afternoon at the athletics track in Hereford.

A huge thank you to Adam Dyson, from our #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2023 team, for leading a brilliant guided running taster afternoon at the athletics track in Hereford. Guided running enables a visually impaired runner to pair up with a sighted runner to help with navigating a route and making them aware of any obstacles and changes in surface. Guide running is a great activity for amateurs and professional runners alike.

Everyone involved in the session holding up a LOOK banner that reads - Supporting visually impaired young people to thrive.

Our CEO, Charlotte, and our intern Lacey, both had a go on the tracks. It was great fun, and we were also delighted to raise the profile and support the campaign to save the athletics track in Hereford from closure. Free facilities like this are vital for visually impaired young people to have opportunities to participate safely in sport.

It is often hard for visually impaired young people to find inclusive sporting
opportunities, so we hope this will be the first of many sessions. Charlotte has been
registered blind since she was 7, but her sight has got substantially worse and
she no longer feels safe to go running alone, so she tried out guided running
for the first time too. (Don’t tell her, but we’re hoping we can persuade her to train with a guide runner to do the London Marathon…!)

Sighted kids trying out blindfolds to experience guided running first hand. Becky and Lacey organise the teams and hand out noisy batons to pass.

The session took place at Hereford Athletics Track which has been at
risk of losing its competition licence if action isn’t taken to refurbish its
deteriorating surface. Local running groups and other supporters have set a
fundraising goal of £350,000 to have the track re-laid so that England
Athletics will renew its permit.

Kids wearing their LOOK hi-vis tabards at the starting line of the race track.

The Hereford athletics track is such an amazing community asset, and especially for visually impaired people who can run around the track with confidence knowing they are not going to bump into anything. Local facilities where blind and partially sighted people can have a go at sports like guide running are so essential to the health of our
communities.

Charlotte and her running partner tethered together practicing their guiding.

We had a great time at the session. After a quick warm up we learned how to guide one another by describing the running surfaces, keeping a steady pace and passing the noisy batons!

Adam Dyson is running 3 ultra-marathons as well as running for LOOK at the London Marathon 2023. You can support Adam and VI children across the UK by making a donation to his page here.

Adam on the tracks with a young person starting the session with some leg stretches.

A huge thanks to Adam for running the session and for raising funds for us, as well as all of our amazing marathon runners and all those who attended the session. We couldn’t do what we do without you!

More about guide running

Guide running is when a sighted runner pairs up with someone who is visually impaired, not only to navigate the route, but to make them aware of changes in running surface, any obstacles or changes in the environment, such as crowds, pedestrians or other runners. Some people like to use a tether to help guide the run, others prefer to just use verbal cues. You can find more information on guide running and finding a guide on the British Blind Sport website here.

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