A blind runner and three of his running guide dogs made history on Sunday when they completed the New York City Half Marathon.
Thomas Panek became the first blind runner to complete the marathon with guide dogs, finishing the 13.1 mile race in just under two-and-a-half hours, according to New York Road Runners.
Amazing accomplishment!! Thomas Panek is visually impaired. Today, he ran the @nyrr half marathon with the help of three guide dogs trained by @GuidingEyes pic.twitter.com/I3YSA2l7EP
— Lydia S. Hu (@LydiaHuNews) March 17, 2019
CNN reported that Panek raced alongside his running guide dogs: Westley, Waffle and Gus. The three labradors were the first dogs to run and complete the race.
Panek lost his eyesight in his early 20s, CNN reported, but has still completed 20 marathons with the assistance of human guides.
He started a program at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a nonprofit that trains guide dogs for the blind, which focused on preparing the animals to guide while running.
Since Panek launched the program in 2015, 24 dogs have completed the training and 12 are halfway through the process, CNN reported.