One of the group, Scott Vallance contacted me a few months ago to ask if I would mind coming to talk to those who would be taking on the 10k challenge. Apparently he visited Sportlink to buy some shoes and get some advice and they mentioned my name.
Due to other work and sporting commitments I wasn’t able to help as much as I would have liked to. I did visit the NNAB in Norwich however to discuss how best to get started, tethering options when running with a Guide and other things to think about before the big day.
With 7,000 entrants and supporters on the day it was almost impossible for me to find the guys. In the end I just waited near the start line and asked a marshal to give me a shout if they spotted anyone from the NNAB group as the masses filtered past. Thankfully this worked!
With Ed, Scott, Mark and their Guides now on course I joined in. Ed had set off a rapid pace so after saying hello and good luck I dropped back to chat with Mark. I ran about 3km with Mark, who had settled into a great rhythm and looked like he’d be fine if he kept that going. Scott caught us up and I spent most of the rest of the run with him and his Guide.
On course it was pretty hot and to be honest it’s not exactly a flat route – I know this will surprise people who think Norfolk is as flat as pancake, but it’s true!
With no short amount of effort, all of the team completed their goal!
This is a really great achievement. Not only have they all gone from 0-10km in just a few months, but they have over-come the added complications of having very little or no vision and co-ordinating their efforts with the Guide runners, who all did a super job too.
Whilst I don’t have great vision I do have enough to get about safely (mostly). Having raced in blackout glasses for a couple of seasons I can however appreciate just how un-nerving it can be to run in close proximity to others, in unfamiliar places and cope with changing surfaces etc.
I don’t know if Ed, Mark and Scott will want to do the Norwich 10k or other running events again (Scott didn’t bite when it was suggested he could either knock some time off next year or try a marathon!), but I’m sure they will be taking on a number of big challenges in the future.
Well done guys!