We are delighted have a guest article from Vision Sports Ireland member Andrew Flynn from Blackrock Athletic Club who shares his journey with us from his recent participation at the Dublin City Marathon. Andrew was the first Vison Impaired athlete across the line in an astonishing time of 2 hours 52 minutes and 37 seconds. He was followed closely by Declan Ryan of Thurles Crokes in 2 hours 57 minutes and 32 seconds and in third place was Mark Young in 4 hours 43 minutes and 03 seconds.
Andrew is passionate about running and wants to inspire others to get involved in their local athletic club or parkrun.
“My name is Andrew Flynn and I am a visually impaired runner. I have an eye condition called Stargardt’s disease which affects my central vision. This condition impacts the type of sport I can participate in. I have found that running is a sport which I can enjoy with minimal assistance.
I would say to any visually impaired people to try it. Running has introduced me to so many wonderful people. I am a member of Blackrock Athletics Club. Running clubs are a fantastic way to access this sport. You can make friends and find athletes of a similar running level. I have made lifelong friends through running and we meet up regularly to go running. My running pals are aware and accepting of my disability and in fact are supportive in a real way. They help me navigate road and path obstacles and this is especially important in winter training in darkness.
Running is not only brilliant for your physical health, the well being benefits cannot be stated enough. We all have busy and sometimes stressful lives. The only way I can explain it is; for me, a run can wash away any stress or anxiety.
I have just participated in the Dublin City Marathon 2022. I ran a personal best of 2 hours 52 minutes. My good friend Brian was my guide on the day and helped me navigate the course. As somebody who at one point couldn’t run to the end of my road without being out of breath it is funny to think I have now run nearly 20 marathons.
Visually impaired people should consider taking up this wonderful sport. You never know you could find a hidden talent you never realized you possessed.
Vision sports are a brilliant resource and your local running club will no doubt welcome you with open arms so please consider lacing up your runners and giving it a go.”
Upcoming Guide Running Course Dates
Vision Sports Ireland and Athletics Ireland will host a Guide Running Workshop on Saturday November 26th at UCD Athletics Track at 2pm.