Sunday, 22 October 2017

I received a lovely email last week via England Athletics from a lady called Nayoung who is blind and asked if I would be her Guide Runner. It transpires that she lives about 2 miles from me so we exchanged a few emails and agreed to meet at Goddington Park, Orpington at the parkrun; Nayoung was very happy as was I.

It is important that as a Guide Runner for visually impaired (VI) athletes you arrange to meet at a venue where there are lots of people so that they feel safe and this worked perfectly for us today as Nayoung came with a friend who was her chaperone. After introducing ourselves to the Race Director, Peter, who I have run hundreds of miles with in the past, we dumped Nayoung's coat and stick to go off to the centre of the park. Here I explained to her that we needed to get to know each other and do some drills together. As always I had a planned session that lasted 45 minutes where we did the following:

  • Right Turns
  • Left Turns
  • About Turns 
  • Gradual turns to the left and right
  • Rough trail
  • Uneven trail
Nayoung was a natural, a brilliant VI runner who was happy to tell me to slow, walk or run. We learnt not to say "Sorry" if we bumped elbows, everything I needed as guide so she could get the best from her run with me.

As for myself, I had a lovely time, what with meeting old friends and actually running (Which I miss terribly) and meeting a new friend. Next week I am picking her up from her home so that we can do a slightly longer, in duration, run around the park and then progress to hopefully run a full parkrun in a few weeks

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