There are many things we take for granted when we lace up our shoes to run. Being able to feel the ground beneath our feet; being able to hear the gentle roll of the ocean or grind of the city; being able to smell the freshly cut summer grass, and being able to see the world in front of us. Think about that last one for a moment. Being able to actually see where you’re running. If you’ve ever tried running with your eyes closed or with a blindfold – even just for a few seconds – it feels impossible. Yet for many, the obstacle of loss of vision has been a challenge they’ve had to overcome that’s greater than any marathon or ultra-race.
In December 2018, Dubai Creek Striders was contacted by a young Jordanian runner, Hasan Tayem, based in Amman. Hasan happens to be blind and asked the club if they could provide a sub-40 minute guide and pacer to help him run the Dubai Standard Chartered 10K road race on January 25. He had set himself an ambitious target of beating his previous personal best of 44:28 minutes. Many were keen to help, but the sub-40 minute time was a significant barrier.