A group of visually impaired runners from Taiwan completed a marathon in Singapore on Sunday, the first group of visually impaired Taiwanese runners to formally participate in an international race.
A team of 33 people, including 11 runners and their sighted guides, as well as 11 support personnel, took part in the Standard Chartered Marathon.
Members of the group, led by Exercise Association of the Visually Impaired in Taiwan director Chang Yuan-lung (張淵隆), challenged themselves in either the 42km full marathon or a half-marathon that took place at the same time.
Undaunted by the scorching sun, the 11 pairs of runners, two of whom ran in the full marathon, completed the races in about six hours.
The runners with sight problems needed guides to describe road conditions to them, when to make turns or go uphill or downhill. It requires very good physical strength and mutual understanding to make a great partner, one said.
Chang, who is visually impaired, expressed hope that more people like him in Taiwan would participate in outdoor activities.
Despite being blind, taking part in the race was like being fully sighted, said Lee Kun-ming (李昆明), who completed the race in four-and-a-half hours.
All of the runners paid for the trip to Singapore out of their own pockets at a cost of more than NT$30,000 per person. They expressed hope that their participation would draw more attention to the visually impaired from the government and society.
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