Great Bristol Run to include 10km race for blind and partially sighted runners

·2-min read
Photo credit: Johner Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Johner Images - Getty Images

The Great Bristol Run is to host a race for blind and partially sighted runners this September, in what organisers say is the first of its kind.

The event has been launched in partnership with VI [visually impaired] Runners Bristol, a group for blind and partially sighted runners in the city. In a statement on the Great Bristol Run website, organisers said their joint ambition was ‘to use this event to promote and increase participation in running for people registered as severely sight impaired’.

According to BBC News, the new 10K run was added to the race weekend following a suggestion from frequent guide runner Colin Johnson. Johnson told BBC News: ‘If you run and you are blind or visually impaired you normally have to compete in the same races as sighted runners.’

He added: ‘This is the first race of its kind in the UK where runners with sight loss will compete for their own medals but more importantly, I hope it encourages as many people as possible who are blind or partially sighted to pull on a pair of trainers and take part.’

Chris Blackabee, a blind runner who is involved with VI Runners Bristol, told BBC News that running with a guide runner gave him ‘a real taste of freedom’

He said: ‘Running has helped not just physically but mentally as well, it’s fantastic that Bristol is hosting this race.’

The Great Bristol Run is scheduled to take place in the city on Sunday, September 19. The VI Runners Challenge will take place ahead of the mass starts for the 10K and half marathon races.

Runners who wish to take part in the event should register via the Great Bristol Run 10K race via the event’s ordinary entry system. Once registered, runners are required to notify organisers of their name, event registration number and their guide’s name and email address by emailing

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