Guide and Support Runners: Information

Updated February 12, 2019

Human Guide

A human guide ("guide") provides visual cues and navigation support to a runner with a visual impairment.  Guides are not scored and will not receive an official finishing time.  There is no entry fee for a guide.

Guide Selection

  • A runner with a visual impairment who requires a guide to participate in a New York Road Runners (“NYRR”) event is permitted to run with one (1) guide.
  • It is the runner's responsibility to select a guide who can perform all guide responsibilities at the runner's goal pace.
  • It is strongly recommended that a runner selects a guide with whom he / she regularly trains. 

Guide Registration Procedures

If you are a runner with a visual impairment who needs a guide to participate in a NYRR event, please follow the process explained here.  To request to register a guide, the runner must email guiderequests@nyrr.org upon registering for the event.  All requests must be placed by runners at least ten (10) days prior to the event.  The runner must provide the following information in the email:

  • The applicable impairment type, as defined by World Para Athletics: https://www.paralympic.org/athletics/classification (a para athletics classification is not required)
  • An explanation as to why the runner needs a guide
  • The first and last name of the guide
  • The email address that is used by the guide to login to his/her NYRR account

NYRR will send an invitation to register directly to an approved guide.  The guide must complete the registration process through NYRR by the deadline specified in the invitationAfter the deadline, any runner whose guide did not timely register through NYRR will be given the option to participate alone, or to cancel his / her entry.  (A refund will not be provided to a runner who chooses to cancel his / her entry.)

  • It is the runner's responsibility to email the guide registration request to NYRR.
  • Should the runner select a registered runner to serve as his / her guide, the runner still must follow the guide registration process described above.

Guide Race Bib

A guide must wear the race bib provided by the event organizers.  A guide is required to pick up his / her race materials, including the race bib, in accordance with the bib pickup process for runners posted on the specific event’s webpage.  A guide bib for a NYRR event is non-transferable; a guide is prohibited from giving or selling the race number or tag to another person or wearing an unofficial number or tag.

Baggage

A guide may check his / her own baggage in accordance with the baggage process for runners posted on the specific event’s webpage.

Guide Responsibilities / Rules of Competition on the Course

  • The method of guidance is the choice of the athlete, with certain limitations (listed below).  Some of the most common methods of guidance are using a tether, or verbal directions, instructions or cues.
  • A guide's focus must be at all times on the runner he / she is assisting.  A guide must stay with his / her runner at all times.
  • The guide may not push, pull or slingshot the runner forward.  The runner may only bear weight on the guide temporarily to regain balance if necessary.
  • The guide may not block or interfere with the forward progression of other race participants. 
  • A guide must advise his / her runner to stay to the side of the road when approached from behind by an official vehicle or other participants.
  • A guide may not use rollerblades, a bicycle, or other mechanical means of transport. 
  • If a guide is unable to finish an event with his / her runner, the guide is required to drop-out and exit the course.  If a guide drops-out, the runner may still participate so long as he / she is able to do so safely.
  • A guide must cross the finish line with (never ahead of) his / her runner.

Support Runner

A runner (ambulatory) with a permanent physical or intellectual impairment who needs to be accompanied by another person to participate in a New York Road Runners (“NYRR”) event is permitted to be accompanied by one (1) support runner.  Support runners are not scored and will not receive an official finishing time.  There is no entry fee for a support runner.  A runner participating using a pushrim wheelchair (or wheelchair with a FreeWheel™) or handcycle may not be accompanied by another person during a NYRR event.

Support Runner Selection

  • It is the runner’s responsibility to select a support runner who can perform all support responsibilities at the runner’s goal race pace.
  • It is strongly recommended that a runner selects a support runner with whom he / she regularly trains.

Support Runner Registration Procedures

If you are a runner with a physical or intellectual impairment who requires a support runner, please follow the process explained here.  To request to register a support runner, the runner must email guiderequests@nyrr.org upon registering for the event.  All requests must be placed by runners at least ten (10) days prior to the event.  The runner must provide the following information in the email:

  • The applicable impairment type, as defined by World Para Athletics https://www.paralympic.org/athletics/classification (a para athletics classification is not required)
  • An explanation as to why the runner needs a support runner
  • The first and last name of the support runner
  • The email address that is used by the support runner to login to his/her NYRR account

NYRR will send an invitation to register directly to each approved support runner.  The support runner must complete the registration process through NYRR by the deadline specified in the invitation.  After the deadline, any runner whose support runner did not timely register through NYRR will be given the option to participate alone, or to cancel his / her entry.  (A refund will not be provided to a runner who chooses to cancel his / her entry.)

  • It is the runner's responsibility to email the support runner registration request to NYRR.
  • Should the runner select a registered runner to serve as his / her support runner, the runner still must follow the support runner registration process described above.

Support Runner Race Bib

A support runner must wear the race bib provided by the event organizers.  A support runner is required to pick up his / her race materials, including the race bib, in accordance with the bib pickup process for runners posted on the specific event’s webpage.  Support runner bibs are non-transferable; a support runner is prohibited from giving or selling the race number or tag to another person or wearing an unofficial number or tag.

Support Runner Baggage

  • A support runner may check his / her own baggage in accordance with the baggage process for runners posted on the specific event’s webpage.    

Support Runner Responsibilities / Rules of Competition on the Course

  • A support runner must accompany his / her runner during the entire distance of the event.
  • A support runner's focus must be at all times on the runner he / she is assisting.  A support runner must stay with his / her runner at all times.
  • The support runner may not push, pull or slingshot the runner forward.  The runner may only bear weight on the support runner temporarily to regain balance if necessary. The runner and the support runner may not have sustained physical contact during the race. 
  • The support runner may not block or interfere with the forward progression of other race participants. 
  • A support runner must advise his / her runner to stay to the side of the road when approached from behind by an official vehicle or other participants.
  • A support runner may not use rollerblades, a bicycle, or other mechanical means of transport. 
  • A support runner is permitted to hand fluids to the runner at the designated fluid stations. 
  • A support runner may assist the runner if he / she has tripped or fallen, to regain footing and / or orientation. 

*Any runner who has additional needs, or questions regarding participation in a NYRR event may email nyrrawdteam@nyrr.org.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A runner, guide or support runner who violates anything in these rules or procedures may be removed from the event course, disqualified from official results, or suspended from subsequent NYRR events.

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