AP: One of my best friends from college is a guide runner. I would alway have motivational phone calls with her and her teammate that she guided through Achilles International. So, I was aware of the guide programs and I had seen those runners at marathons I was competing at.
The opportunity came about when I was navigating my way back into competitive running and wanted to be a part of the marathon in a different way. I was connected with Team With a Vision, who was in need of guide runners for the 2022 Boston Marathon. They presented me with a roster of athletes who had different pace ranges, and I noticed that there was only one woman on the list – Lisa Thompson. I was made aware that Lisa had very rarely had a female guide because she's quite fast, and in order to be a guide the pace needs to feel comfortable. For example, if Lisa wants to run a 3:20 marathon, the guide needs to be able to run about a 2:50 marathon so they can navigate the safety, the water stop dynamics, and be an audiobook for this person. If you're really pushing yourself, you can't do that kind of communicating or even thinking.
It was easier for Lisa to find male guide runners for her pace range than to find a female guide. I was excited to be her first full marathon female guide. We had some mutual friends, and we got along. I guided her through both the Boston and London marathons this year.