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Tags: blind | marathon | guide dogs | new york

Blind Runner, Guide Dog Make History in NYC Half Marathon

thomas panek became the first blind runner to complete the new york city half marathon
Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)

By    |   Sunday, 17 March 2019 04:58 PM EDT

Thomas Panek became the first blind runner to complete the New York City Half Marathon, finishing the 13.1-mile race on Sunday in just under two-and-a-half hours, The Hill reported.

Panek raced with his running guide dogs: Westley, Waffle and Gus, who also became the first dogs to participate in and complete the marathon, according to CNN.

The 48-year-old Panek, who lost his eyesight in his early 20s, has completed 20 other marathons, but those were with the assistance of human guides, according to Time.

Panek is the president and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and in 2015, he set up the first-ever "Running Guides" program there that concentrated on preparing the dogs to guide while running, which requires an even more rigorous level of fitness and discipline.

"The bond is really important,” Panek told CNN. “You can't just pick up the harness and go for a run with these dogs,". You're training with a team no matter what kind of athlete you are, and you want to spend time together in that training camp."

Twenty-four dogs have completed the specialized training. Panek told CNN that he hopes his achievement will inspire others with disabilities to strive to push their limits.

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Newsfront
Thomas Panek became the first blind runner to complete the New York City Half Marathon, finishing the 13.1-mile race on Sunday in just under two-and-a-half hours, The Hill reported.
blind, marathon, guide dogs, new york
202
2019-58-17
Sunday, 17 March 2019 04:58 PM
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