Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Two local runners cross finish line together

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Two local runners cross finish line together
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Completing a half marathon isn’t easy. It takes a lot of training, endurance and determination. But imagine not being able to see where you're running. Our Alexa Green brings us the inspirational story of two local runners who worked together to cross the finish line.

BINGHAMTON N.Y-- More than 2,000 runners participated in Sunday's Greater Binghamton Bridge Run half marathon. Out of those runners, two locals ran stride for stride.

"We set a game plan of what we wanted to run and we ran our game plan. I actually beat my best time by about two minutes and Ken was a good help with that, "explained Positive LifeForce Fitness Trainer Ken Howell.

"I felt good pretty much the entire time through a lot of good communication between Ken and I with him keeping me on track," said Blind Bridge Run Participant Ken Fernald.

Communication was key during the race since Fernald is legally blind. The two had practiced together before, but this was the first time they ran 13.1 miles with a tether between them.

"When I needed to go right I would pull on the string a little bit, when I needed to go left I would just bump him in the shoulder,' said Howell. "When we came to a curb I just said curb step up or curb step down."

While this was Fernald's first half marathon, he has done shorter races in the past. He says Sunday's half is proof that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

"I see my vision loss as an inconvenience, not a barrier. You just have to find a different way to do things as in today. Run with somebody, be active," Fernald said.

"It's just great to see these blind runners out there. I'd just like to encourage all those people that are visually impaired to give it a a shot. Find somebody to run with and get out there and get some exercise," added Howell.

The two finished the race in less than two hours and 30 minutes and are already planning for their next race.

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