Runninghour is an inclusive running club for integrating people with special needs. We’d like to introduce some of its members, whom you will be running alongside at the inaugural “Run So Others Can” race (March 22, 2015).

Dennis Sim

Joined Runninghour: 2013

What was your first running experience with Runninghour and what was it like?

Dennis: My first running experience took place in early 2013 at a running session held at Toa Payoh stadium. It was my very first time running since I lost my sight and I was paired with an experienced running guide for the session. It was scary at first so I was running at a slow pace as I was worried that I would bump into someone else. My guide was assuring and constantly spoke to me as we ran so my confidence built up from there.


How has Runninghour changed your life?

Dennis: For a few years after I completely lost my sight, I mostly confined myself at home and did not exercise at all. My health was in bad shape and I was in a constant state of depression. Since joining Runninghour, I am in much better shape both physically and emotionally. Not only has the co-op help me to regain my fitness, I have also made many new friends. Through our weekly runs, we share our life experiences and act as emotional support for one another. The sessions have given me confidence to deal with challenges that come with my disability.

What advice would you share with first-time Blind Run participants?

Dennis: As the participants will be experiencing running blindfolded and as a running guide for the first time, it is vital to attend the pre-race workshops to get vital first-hand information from those with experience.


running hourTan Siew Ling

Joined Runninghour: January 2013

What was your first running experience with Runninghour and what was it like?

Siew Ling: In December 2012, Runninghour members Wai Yee and Ivni invited me to run with the group, and much to their disbelief, I told them I would join in the January the following year. My first run with the group was at Buona Vista for a trial before the Green Corridor Run later that month. I was paired with Royce for my first run with a shoelace for Royce to guide me with. The trail was muddy, full of puddles and ended up in us not being able to complete the planned running route. It was an eventful first run for me

Why did you decide to join Runninghour?

Siew Ling: When I lost my sight at 11 years of age, I did not exercise at all. Even with my sight, I was not the exercise sort. Since taking up running, I feel fitter leading a more active life, and have forged strong friendships with the friendly members of Runninghour. I’m now more involved in sports now than ever before.

What advice would you share with first time Blind Run participants for the upcoming Runninghour2015: Run So Others Can?

Siew Ling: Take it slow. As the visually impaired runner, you are the one setting the pace so communicate with your guide, tell them how you want to be alerted of changes. As a running guide, use distance alerts such as 10m ahead, 30 steps ahead, get ready in 3…2…1 to inform your partner. When blindfolded, just trust your guide, run and enjoy the whole experience. It’s a very liberating experience.


10676160_10152605074531888_7145433919702951995_nOng Meng Hong

Joined Runninghour: February 2014

How has Runninghour changed your life?

Meng Hong: Besides my regular running routine, I have found new joy and meaning to this sport after joining Runninghour. My wife and I always look forward to the weekly Saturday runs. We can’t wait to meet old and new friends at these sessions. In fact, if we were to miss some sessions due to work or personal commitments, we get “withdrawal syndromes” and cannot wait to attend the next session. It is also very inspiring to see many of our special needs runners train very hard to achieve their best times or distances, and also others who brave the long travel time and/or weather to attend the training sessions every week.

What was your first running experience with Runninghour and what was it like?

Meng Hong: I joined Runninghour in February this year, after chancing upon their website in Facebook. During the first session at East Coast Park, another first time guide, David Pong, and myself were given a short induction on how to guide a Visually-challenged Runner (VCR). We also took turns to experience first hand what it is like to run when you can’t see by running a short distance blind-folded. I was paired with Wai Yee, one of the VCRs who has been with the club for two years. It was a brand new experience for me but I must say it was quite exciting. I alternated with David, to “guide” Wai Yee which means we will hold on to one end of a shoelace while she held the other end. Initially, we were super cautious and kept giving instructions to her about every single road condition, regardless of whether it matters or not! However, Wai Yee was very relaxed and friendly and she was chit-chatting all the way with us, easing our tensions as first time guides. Everything went smoothly until the last 100m where Wai Yee suggested that we do a sprint to the finishing line. As we sprinted (and me trying to keep pace with Wai Yee!), I became complacent and completely forgot that she is a VCR. While I avoided the path of an old lady, Wai Yee bumped straight into her as we crossed the end point. Wai Yee fell back on the ground and I felt so guilt-stricken. Wai Yee assured me that she is perfectly okay and mentioned that it is not uncommon for a beginner guide to make such a mistake. After that first session, I was totally inspired and the rest as they say is history and have never looked back on the decision to join the club!

What advice would you share with first time Blind-Run participants for the upcoming Runninghour 2015: Run So Others Can?

Meng Hong: Feel the fear to run in total darkness and overcome the fear to guide others. Be inspired by the determination of visually-challenged people to run regularly. And extend your help to reach out to more visually-challenged people to pick up sporting activities such as running.


Wait no more, register now for Runninghour 2015: Run So Others Can that will be taking place on March 22nd, 2015. You can take part in the competitive 10 km race or join the non-competitive 5 or 10 km including 1 km of blindfolded run. Use promo code RH5D2015 during registration and get $5 off!


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