Blind man finishes NYC Half Marathon with help of guide dogs

Credit: cocoparisienne/PIxabay

Credit: cocoparisienne/PIxabay

Thanks to a trio of guide dogs, a man became the first blind runner to finish the New York City Half Marathon on Sunday, WCBS reported.

>> Read more trending news

Thomas Panek, president and CEO for the nonprofit Guiding Eyes of the Blind, ran the 13-mile event Sunday and crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 20 minutes, 51 seconds.

According to the Guiding Eyes of the Blind website, Panek used three guide dogs. Westley, a black Labrador retriever, covered the first 5 miles. His sister, Waffle, a yellow Lab, "Was on fire on the FDR (Drive). She took off like there was no tomorrow," Panek said.

The anchor for the three of dogs, Gus, finished the final 3 miles, guiding Panek across the finish line.

The race began in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and ended in Central Park in Manhattan.

Panek has used human guides to run races, including the 2014 Boston Marathon, according to WABC.

"There's a big demand from people who have vision loss that want to be active, want to be well like the rest of us, want to get out there with their dog," Panek told WABC before the race.

In an Instagram post, the New York Road Runners suggested a "round of ap-paws for the dogs."

About the Author