How to Become a Guide Runner in Malaysia?

Guide running is a vital and rewarding role that enables visually impaired individuals (VIPs) to experience the benefits and joy of outdoor running, whether for leisure or competitive events. In Malaysia, the demand for guide runners is growing, and becoming one can significantly improve the quality of life for VIPs. This guide provides detailed steps on how to become a guide runner in Malaysia, promoting inclusivity and healthier lifestyles for all.



Understanding the Role of a Guide Runner

A guide runner is someone who provides physical and verbal guidance to a visually impaired runner, helping them navigate routes safely. No specific physical fitness is required, but first-time guide runners can learn from experienced ones at a slower pace initially. The relationship between a guide runner and a VIP runner is built on trust, communication, and teamwork, improving over time with consistent training.


Steps to Becoming a Guide Runner in Malaysia

1. Understanding Visual Impairment

Before becoming a guide runner, it is essential to understand the various degrees of visual impairment. VIPs may have partial sight loss, total blindness, or a limited visual field. Familiarize yourself with common challenges and the specific needs of VIP runners.


2. Physical Fitness

Guide runners should have an above-average fitness level. The required fitness depends on the VIP runner's ability. For instance, seasoned or marathon VIP runners will need equally capable guide runners. Regular training and maintaining good fitness are crucial to match the pace and stamina of the VIP runners.


3. Training and Certification

Enroll in a Guide Running Course Several organizations in Malaysia offer guide running courses, such as:

  • Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB): Provides various resources and training programs for those interested in assisting visually impaired individuals.
  • St. Nicholas Home, Penang: A well-equipped organization with a dedicated team of staff, resources and right training for guide runners. St Nicholas Home offers a number of programs for those that want an active lifestyle, from gym to running and cycling programs with guides and pilots. They even have their own tandem bicycle collection and blind riding program! 



While not always mandatory, certification can be beneficial. Certified guide runners are more likely to be trusted by VIP runners and may have access to more organized events and opportunities.


4. Practicing Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial in guide running. You need to be able to describe the types of terrain (flat or uneven surface, steps up or down on standard steps or wide broad steps), upcoming obstacles (below on the ground and above the head including barriers, dividers, tree branches, banners), changes in direction (left turn or right turn, even U-turn), and any other pertinent information clearly and concisely. Practice giving verbal cues while running to ensure you can communicate effectively without breaking your stride.


5. Equipment

Guide runners and VIP runners often use a tether, a short rope or band (about one and a half feet) held by both runners to maintain contact. Familiarize yourself with different types of tethers and practice running with them.


6. Finding a Partner

Connect with visually impaired runners through:

  • Running clubs and communities: Many inclusive running clubs in Malaysia have members who are visually impaired or know VIPs looking for guide runners.
  • Online platforms and social media: Join forums and social media groups focused on guide running and empowering people with special needs.
  • Events and races: Participate in local races and running events, many of which welcome VIP runners and may need guide runners.


7. Participating in Events

Once paired with a VIP runner, start participating in running events together, ranging from local fun runs to competitive races. Ensure proper registration, as some events require specific information for guide runners.


Tips for Success

  • Build Trust: Spend time running together to build a strong partnership.
  • Be Patient: Adapt to the different needs and paces of VIP runners.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with new guide running techniques and developments.
  • Engage with the Community: Attend workshops, join support groups, and engage with the visually impaired community to better understand their needs and challenges.



Becoming a guide runner in Malaysia is a fulfilling way to support visually impaired individuals in leading an active lifestyle. By following these steps and dedicating time to training and communication, you can make a significant positive impact. Not only will you help someone enjoy running, but you'll also experience the joy of teamwork and community spirit.


What are you waiting for? 


Isn’t it about time for you to experience it for yourself by registering for our fun run events? 


Come join our fun guided runs and outdoor events! 

There are tons of opportunities you can seize upon riding the wave of event popularity. Join us at Howei today if you’re keen to start your own journey.