Back in August 2016, we were asked by one of the brilliant team at the Royal London Society for Blind People to supply some of our popcorn for their “Blindfold Run” goodie bags. We are not ashamed to say a fair amount of Googling went into finding out just how one runs blindfolded, without falling into streams of traffic, bashing into innocent bystanders, and generally just surviving the journey.
But it really is simpler than you think. How do we know? Because we did it!
Those up to the challenge to take part in this extraordinary experience are tethered together in pairs, with one runner being blindfolded and the other being the trusted navigator. Halfway through the 5k or 10k course, you then change roles, so each person gets the experience of being guided blindly through the route.
The aim here is not to simulate sight loss, or imply that the experience will be the same for everyone, but simply to get people thinking about sight loss, and be part of something completely unique!
Imagine being in a pitch-black room; it could be your bedroom, sitting room, or just a place you are familiar with and feel comfortable in…but you’re in complete darkness. Sure you can feel your way around it, you can still smell the familiar scents of a place you would call home, but without being able to see, it would still be a touch intimidating.
Now imagine leaving that room, still in darkness, and running through unfamiliar territory. You have no idea about your surroundings. Is that person you can hear close enough to touch or are they further away? Every tiny bump or slight turn is new and scary as you have no idea how to gauge it. It sounds ridiculous, but you forget how to turn your body left and right, whether you’re jogging too fast or too slow, and it feels like the world is coming in on you, even though it’s exactly the same as before…I blame that last point on running into some low hanging branches.
What a sweet luxury it was to take your blindfold off and see the world, and how lucky we are that we can do that.
The Blindfold Run is understandably the RLSB’s most popular fundraising event, and has raise dover 70k since it’s launch in 2014. All funds that are raised from the amazing participants goes towards goes towards helping blind children and young people living in the capital, with the belief that every single child can build the confidence and skills to fulfil their potential, even in a world that is sometime’s all about the visual.
If you would like to find out more about the brilliant work the RLSB does for those in need, or to check out the run and sign up for next year, check out their website here!: www.rlsb.org.uk