Running Blind: A Guide for the Guide

Lex Gillette running with his guide in the olympics

What is Guide Runner at 2019 KC Blind All Stars 5k runa Guide Runner?  

A guide runner is a volunteer who assists a person with a visual impairment in running. Whether it is a short jog around the park, a 5k run, a marathon, or even an Olympic race, The logistics of being a guide runner is relatively straightforward: The Person with vision loss holds onto one end of a 10inch rope, and the guide holds onto the other. 

Runner holding tether with guide after completing a cross country race.

What Qualities Make a Good Guide? 

A guide has to be safety-conscious:  they must have good enough judgment to get both of you around obstacles safely. The guide might have time to say “Please move to the right, because there’s a dog walker coming up” or may only be able to say “Move right!”. Communication: The guide has to be prepared to throw polite conversation to the wind, and the runner has to be willing to obey immediately.  In the case of Lex Gillette, representing USA in the Tokyo Paraolympics –  his guide runner could be the key to a gold medal!  More about Lex and his guide runner here:  and , they have been running together for 14 years. 

Can I be a Guide Runner?

If you believe that running should be shared with people who can’t do it on their own due to vision loss, then YES you can!! Pay it forward by becoming a guide and come join us for the upcoming KCBAS 5k Run / 1 mile Walk on September 25th. 

Link to event:  The KC Blind All-Stars Foundation 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk – 2021 


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