Guide & Support Runners

Guide & Support Runners

 

Guide & Support Runners

Para athletes registered in the 125th Boston Marathon will receive an email communication with Guide and Support Runner registration instructions in mid-August. 

  • A Guide or Support Runner is a person who provides on-course support to athletes with visual, physical, or intellectual impairments in the Boston Marathon.  
  • The B.A.A. does not match, assign, or provide Guide or Support Runners to athletes.
  • Athletes who are eligible to be accompanied by a Guide or Support Runner are responsible for selecting a Guide or Support Runner that best meets his/her individual needs.
  • Runners who are interested in running as a Guide or Support Runner for an athlete with an impairment should reach out to athletes directly to express their interest. 

Guide Runner

A Guide Runner is a person who provides verbal cues and navigation support to an athlete with a vision impairment on the marathon course.

Selection & Registration Procedures

  • Guide Runner selection is the registered athlete's responsibility.
  • Guide Runner selection may not include financial contingencies, including but not limited to the requirement or expectation that an individual will donate or fundraise for any organization in exchange for the opportunity to run as a Guide Runner in the Boston Marathon.
  • The registered athlete who is eligible to be accompanied by a Guide Runner will receive an email from the B.A.A. approximately 45 days before the race with instructions on how to register his or her Guide Runner(s). 
  • All Guide Runners must complete the Guide Runner Registration Form and agree to the Participant Agreement of the event by the specified deadline.
  • There is no entry fee for a Guide Runner. 

Rules of Participation 

  • Athletes with vision impairments in the Adaptive Program are permitted to use up to two Guide Runners on the marathon course. The athlete may only run abreast or be tethered to one Guide Runner at a time. The second Guide Runner, if applicable, must trail the pair and interchange with the other Guide Runner as needed throughout the race. Athlete and Guide in the Adaptive Program may run using a tether no longer than twenty-four inches, run abreast untethered, or use an elbow lead.
  • Athletes with vision impairments competing in the Para Athletics Division must follow World Para Athletics Rules and Regulations, must use a WPA approved tether no longer than 50 cm., and may only run with one Guide Runner at a time. If a second Guide Runner is needed, the athlete must exchange Guide Runners at the designated Guide Exchange Zone. 
  • The B.A.A. expects that athlete and Guide have trained together prior to race day.
  • The Guide Runner may not push, pull, or slingshot the athlete forward. 
  • The athlete shall determine the pace and cadence of the pair, not the Guide Runner. 
  • The Guide Runner may not cross the finish line ahead of the athlete. 
  • Guide Runners will receive a finisher’s medal but do not receive an official finishing time and will not appear in race results. 

GUIDE Bib

  • A GUIDE bib is considered an official B.A.A. issued bib and is subject to all rules pertaining to B.A.A. issued bibs.
  • Guide Runners must wear the B.A.A. issued GUIDE bib as directed by the B.A.A.
  • Any participant wearing a replicated or manufactured GUIDE bib or guide apparel and who is not registered as a Guide Runner with the B.A.A. may be disqualified, and/or the athlete he/she is assisting may be disqualified.
  • If a registered runner is selected to run as a Guide Runner, he or she must complete theGuide Runner Registration Form and wear both his/her runner’s bib and the B.A.A. issued GUIDE bib.

Support Runner

A Support Runner is a person who provides verbal instructions, directions, and/or cues that support orientation and/or decision making for an athlete with a physical or intellectual impairment.

Selection & Registration Procedures

  • Support Runner selection is the registered athlete's responsibility. 
  • Support Runner selection may not include financial contingencies, including but not limited to the requirement or expectation that an individual will donate or fundraise for any organization in exchange for the opportunity to run as a Support Runner in the Boston Marathon.
  • The registered athlete who is eligible to be accompanied by a Support Runner will receive an email from the B.A.A. approximately 45 days before the race with instructions on how to register his or her Support Runner. 
  • All Support Runners must complete the Support Runner Registration Form and agree to the Participant Agreement of the event by the specified deadline.
  • There is no entry fee for a Support Runner. 

Rules of Participation 

  • Runners in the Adaptive Program who possess a physical or intellectual impairment are permitted to be accompanied by one Support Runner during the race.
  • A Support Runner may not push, pull, or carry the athlete.
  • The B.A.A. expects that athlete and Support Runner have trained together prior to race day.
  • An athlete may not partake in sustained physical contact with his/her Support Runner during the race. The athlete may only bear weight on his or her Support Runner temporarily to regain balance if necessary.
  • A Support Runner may assist the athlete in obtaining fluids at a designated fluid station.
  • A Support Runner may assist the athlete who has tripped or fallen to regain his or her footing and/or orientation as long as such assistance does not provide any advantage to the athlete towards his or her running direction.
  • Athlete and Support Runner may not be tethered.
  • A Support Runner may not block the forward progression of other race participants.
  • Support Runners will receive a finisher’s medal but do not receive an official finishing time and will not appear in race results.

SUPPORT Bib

  • A SUPPORT bib is considered an official B.A.A. issued bib and is subject to all rules pertaining to B.A.A. issued bibs.
  • Support Runners must wear the B.A.A. issued SUPPORT bib as directed by the B.A.A.
  • Any participant wearing a replicated or manufactured SUPPORT bib or like apparel and who is not registered as a Support Runner with the B.A.A. may be disqualified, and/or the athlete he/she is assisting may be disqualified.
  • If a registered runner is selected to run as a Support Runner, he or she must complete the Support Runner Registration Form and wear both his/her runner’s bib and the B.A.A. issued SUPPORT bib.