A Man’s Best Friend

A vision impairment diagnosis doesn’t have to hold you back.

Ken Fernald is 52-year-old New York man, and he’s been blind since childhood. But that doesn’t keep him from being active. His impairment has changed over time, forcing him to switch from biking to running, and eventually to move from running alone to running tethered to a partner, but he has kept at it, maintaining an active lifestyle despite vision challenges.

And he’s not just taking it all in stride — he’s chasing his dreams. Thus, Fernald decided to drop his tethered human running partner. Instead, in partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a guide dog nonprofit based out of New York, Fernald conceived of guide dogs trained for runners, capable of offering independence in the busy pack of a running race.

It was only a dream, until May of this year, when Guiding Eyes introduced Fernald to Winnie, a 2-and-a-half-year-old yellow lab specially trained not just as a guide dog, but as a running guide dog. Fernald started the race with a human companion, but five miles from the finish line he switched for a K-9 companion. Fernald and Winne finished the race, proving that with a little help from the right kind of friends visual impairment doesn’t have to mean living on the sidelines.

Read the full story about Fernald and Winnie in Runners World. Or watch the video:

Rides in Sight offers just that kind of support: With the right kind of friends, normal full life is possible. If you’re looking for a ride, call us. Our customer representatives are standing by five days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Or visit our website. Let us help you keep chasing the things you love by guiding you to the rides you need.