Track & Field disciplines and distance running are easily adaptable for athletes who are blind and visually impaired. The rules of Paralympic Track & Field and distance running are almost identical to those of USA Track & Field which makes integration into able-bodied events very easy. For example, in running disciplines, athletes who are B1 and B2 are allowed the use of a guide runner. The same rules apply for your local 10k or marathon. Visit Team USA Mobile Coach for step-by-step instructions and tips on learning how to guide run or learn about the different Track & Field events and adaptations used.
Locating and recruiting guide runners for both competitive and recreational running is integral to an athlete’s success in the sport. Online guide running resources such as United in Stride pair runners with guides. Local groups such as Achilles International and running clubs are another avenue to locate guides. For students in high school and college, recruiting an athlete during their offseason (ex. a cross-country athlete who guides during track and field season) can be your best bet.
If you would like to compete nationally against your peers, the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships and the USABA Marathon National Championships are events you should consider annually. If you have Paralympic aspirations and would like to represent Team USA, check out the following resources for more information and requirements and opportunities.
Instructional video on coaching track athletes with visual impairments – Provided by Camp Abilities
Instructional video on coaching cross country athletes with visual impairments – Provided by Camp Abilities
Athletics For All – Adapted Sports For Students Track and Field Resource Page
Team USA Mobile Coach
USABA Sport Program Coordinator
(719) 866 3019
Assoc. Dir., Para Track/Field Sport Ops – U.S. Paralympics