FOR most short-sighted people having your glasses or contact lenses in when taking part in a major running event would be first on the kit list.

But as Peebles woman Sarah Keen approached the 10k start line of the Great Scottish Run on Sunday, she removed hers and set off with a blurry colourful cavalcade of runners.

Sarah braved the roads of Glasgow despite not being able to see properly, to raise money and awareness for her two friends who have visual impairments.

With her dad Mike McGrath by her side to guide her on the route, Sarah smashed her target and time and raised £1,000 for DEBRA and the Macular Society.

Sarah told us: “The run went well and there was such a great atmosphere around us with bands and people cheering, not that I was able to see any of it. My dad was such a good guide, making sure I was aware of any trip hazards and bumps in the road. A couple of times he pointed things out to me, and then remembered I couldn’t see.

“As for my visual impairment, my main reflection on the day as I ran was the realisation of how much reliance there is on other people. If I hadn’t been able to put my glasses back on after crossing the finish line, I’d have had to rely on my dad for so much more.

“I have so much admiration for those who deal with conditions on a daily basis which affect their vision, it must be so hard not to lose confidence in getting out and about, and I guess quite frustrating to have that reliance on others.”

Feeling like a running hazard Sarah made sure she kept a safe distance from competitors so she didn’t clip their heels. “It was hard as I couldn’t see other people properly, yet they had no idea that I couldn’t see them clearly.

“I think overall the mental challenge was much harder than the physical challenge of running itself, and that is probably true for many everyday tasks that visually impaired people have to ensure.”

After crossing the finish line, or what she thought might be the finish line, Sarah popped her glasses back on and the world was clear once again. Stood by her side was her dad. “I could not have done it without him,” said Sarah. “Trust must play such a huge part in the support required by visually impaired people, and I was fortunate to have somebody that I could inherently trust by my side.”