Video|Royson Poh

SINGAPORE – From a distance, Wan Wai Ye, 40, appears like any other jogger along the water front track at Bay East Garden. Flanked by two follow joggers, the trio draws closer to our meeting point under the shade of the Benjamin Shears Bridge.

Visually impaired female runner tethered to her running guide by a fabric held in the palm of the hand.
A running tether held in Wan’s hands connects her physically to her guide. The slack in the tether allows Wan to tell how close she is running to her guide and gives her a sense of where her guide is running. Photo|Royson Poh

As she approaches, you can see that she is holding a piece of fabric, the size of a narrow necktie, in her right hand. The runner on her right holds the other end of the fabric. The tethered runners give clue that Wan is no ordinary jogger on a Saturday morning run.

Born premature, Wan was placed in an incubator which saved her life. Unfortunately, the lights in the incubator cause irreversible damage to her optical nerves and caused Wan to permanently lose her sight.

Due to the lack of awareness in Singapore on sports adaptations for people with disabilities, Wan was excused from physical education classes throughout her education. While she was happy to be spared from the physical regime in the past, she later learnt that the lack of exercise affected her health.

In an interview with Run Society, Wan said that she first started running on a treadmill. It was only in May 2012 that she began running outdoors with the help of running guides.

Through running, Wan is able to improve her fitness and connect with other fellow runners.
Through running, Wan is able to improve her fitness and connect with other fellow runners. Photo|Royson Poh

Wan conquered her first 10km event at the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon in December 2012. Since then she has completed many other 10km races.

Running not only allows Wan to stay healthy but she also enjoys connecting and meeting with other running enthusiast.