Runninghour 2017: Run So Others Can is an annual event that promotes the integration of people with special needs into the society. Similar to previous years, Runninghour offered complimentary slots to all special needs participants in efforts to encourage them to join in the fun.

As the only race in Singapore where participants run alongside people with special needs, Runninghour 2017 achieved an all-time high number of special needs participants. 470 visually, physically and intellectually challenged participants ran alongside members of the public on last Saturday, 5 P.M. evening.

More than 2,000 participants signed up for either 10km, 5km or 3.5km run. Participants have the option to try the signature Blindfold Run to experience how running feels like for visually-impaired people. In the Blindfold Run, participants run in pairs, with one person running with a blindfold to simulate visual impairment and the other acting as a guide using a tether band.

The event was graced by Guest-of-Honour and Minister of Education (Schools), Mr Ng Chee Meng. Mr Ng Chee Meng also attempted the Blindfold Run in the 5km category to experience first-hand the challenges of running with low or no vision. He was guided by Co-Founder and Chairman of Runninghour, Mr John See Toh.

Guest-of-Honour and Minister of Education (Schools), Mr Ng Chee Meng attempting the Blindfold Run at Runninghour 2017, with Chairman of Runninghour, Mr John See Toh as his guide. Photo Credit: Runninghour

Mr John See Toh shared,

Year on year, we see more youth joining Runninghour’s training sessions and events. Not only are they keen to learn more about those with special needs, they are taking action to help their special needs friends integrate into the mainstream. community. It is very heartening to see actions from our youth and we hope to see more groups of people step forward to make Singapore a more inclusive society. Just by being present at today’s event, we have given the special participants more courage to believe they too can pursue an active lifestyle. More importantly, we are letting them know that we want them to be part of our diverse community, and vice versa.

This year, Challenger Technologies, Singapore’s IT products and services provider, raised $18,000 to sponsor 450 special needs runners for the event. On top of the increase in participants with special needs, Runninghour 2017 received greater support from schools, with many signing up for the run as a cohort.

Students running blindfolded at Runninghour 2017, to understand the challenges of visually-challenged runners. This edition of the run received greater support from schools, with many signing up for the run as a cohort. Photo Credit: Runninghour

This included the student and staff from Meridian Junior College, Tampines Junior College, Ministry of Education (MOE) Special Education Branch, APSN Katong School, Delta Senior School, Chao Yang School and Pathlight School. Students from Metta School also led the participants in the warm-up sessions before the various run categories.

Beyond this event, Runninghour is open to anyone who wants to be part of the co-operative for a longer term.

Eva Natalia

Eva is a casual runner who has been hooked on marathons since her first race in 2011. She’s content to spend her weekends only on running. She is also a hiking enthusiast and traveling addict. When she’s not doing outdoor activities, she indulges in reading.

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