I’ve just registered for my 2nd race this year, the inaugural “Running Hour 2015” which will be held on Sunday, 22 March. This race will be different to anything I’ve done before as it’s a race for people with Special Needs. I want to take part to help people less fortunate than me to enjoy exercising and participating in a race.
RH Integration Workshops
Last week I attended their second (out of 3) workshop to learn more about the race. It was held at the nicely new Singapore SportsHub’s Library and was attended by around 50 participants.
The workshop was casual, relaxed and well organized. We registered at 8.30am, were given our name tag and informed of our group. A light breakfast was provided while we waited for the workshop to start.
A little past 9am the we were underway, first there was a Welcome speech and then followed by a session on “Understanding Intellectual Disabilities” delivered by Michelle who is a special needs teacher as well as a volunteer at the Running Hour. Michelle was very clear and gave us a detailed briefing on how to recognize special needs, what to do and not to do with them etc. For example she told us we may find that the intellectually challenged can be extremely friendly, but sometimes shy. We need to be compassionate to them, patient and encouraging.
Then, we gathered in our group to meet some of the intellectually challenged runners, to hear them tell us about themselves and a chance for us to ask their caretakers any questions we had.
After that we had Kelvin, a person with visual impairment, discussing his life with us in order to help us understand a little of what it must be like to live with Visual Impairment. Kelvin was a very confident and entertaining young man. He told us that the key point to guide a Blind Runner is to be verbal. We need to always remember that they can’t see anything and have to always let them know the ground condition, any upcoming changes, the surroundings, etc.
Before the QnA which closed the session, we all had a hands on experience by trying out to be a guide to a blindfolded partner and to then be the blindfolded one too. We walked around, up and down the stairs, eventually building up enough confidence to be able to run at a comfortable speed. It was pretty scary!! In the pitch black, I had no feel for the surroundings, just had to rely on my guide who was a stranger, but she was really good and brave.
The race is open for the public; 10km competitive, 10km non-competitive (with 1km blind run), 5km non-competitive walk/run and 5km (with 1km blind run).
In my opinion, this event is dedicated for people with Special Needs. Us, regular race runners, have so many other events any other time throughout the year, and as we are capable of running other races, why don’t we run this one race to guide the people with special needs run their race?? It’s a good thing. The medal we’ll get at the finish line won’t just be for our usual hard work pushing ourselves throughout the race, but for guiding and encouraging our Special Needs partner to finish his/her race!! I’m sure that will feel even more satisfying than just running for myself.
So sign up now and if you know any body with special needs who needs to get out and exercise, they are free to join this race. For further information please visit www.runninghour2015.com.
See you on the race day!
(editor’s note) There is another Integration Workshop next week, you can get more information and register here.