Yesterday I was asked to be a guide runner for one of our year 10 students who wanted to take part in a running race at sports day today. I know the lad as I had met with him many times over previous years.
We were in for the 200m and this student is partially sighted. His sight has deteriorated recently and he has not taken part in a sports day since year 7 so brave decision. I agreed to help although have never guided before.
Found him about 30 mins before the race today to check out the tether sitch and chat about what he needed me to do. We did a couple of practice runs which went OK.
I asked him how much he could actually see when we were running, he answered “not much because I close my eyes otherwise I get really dizzy”. That would terrify me !
So we line up in the outside lane against a full opposition, grass track is lined inside and out with the school community…over the tannoy blares out that we have a partially sighted athlete with a guide runner…a nearby student shouts “there is “Lenny” with Mr Laycock” and a ripple of cheering starts.
on your marks…get set…GO and we are off!
Runners soon flash past us on the inside as we start off cautiously, we run together as I steer Lenny round the bend, trying to warn him of undulations as we come off the bend I tell him 100 meters straight on, the cheering is amazing we are the only runners all the others had finished we had 50 m to go !
Me “ 50 meters stay close well done”
Lenny “can we go a bit faster?”
Crossed the line to the whole school cheering and clapping.
I managed to get Lenny back to his form group just before the tears began to roll from my eyes without doubt the best race I have ever done! Chapeau Lenny and