Thomas Panek makes history as first blind person to finish New York City Half Marathon with assistance of 3 guide dogs

He got by with a little help from his four-legged friends.

Thomas Panek, 48, made history on Sunday as the first blind person to complete the New York City Half Marathon, with the assistance of three guide dogs.

Panek, the president and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, finished the 13.1-mile race alongside Westley, Waffle, and Gus, a trio of labrador retrievers who took turns guiding him.

Wearing adorable tiny running shoes, the team of highly-trained canine companions led Panek to complete his impressive feat in just under two hours and 21 minutes.

Photos of the crew: 

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Thomas Panek becomes first blind person to finish New York City Half Marathon with help of 3 guide dogs
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Thomas Panek becomes first blind person to finish New York City Half Marathon with help of 3 guide dogs
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Waffle joins Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, as he runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Gus and Waffle join Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, as he runs First-Ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs, Waffle, Westley and Gus on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Gus joins Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, as he runs First-Ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs, on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Waffle joins Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, as he Runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs, on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Gus joins Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, as he runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Gus joins Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, as he runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs, with Gus on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs, with Gus on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs, with Gus on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, runs the first-ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs, with Gus on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Gus and Waffle join Guiding Eyes for the Blind President and CEO, Thomas Panek, as he runs the first ever 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Led Completely by Guide Dogs on March 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Guiding Eyes For The Blind)
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Panek told CNN he has always been an avid runner and had no intention of giving up the sport after losing his eyesight in his early 20s.

Although Panek has since completed 20 marathons with the help of volunteers, he said he missed the independent feeling of running without human assistance, which led him to start a formal training program for running guide dogs through Guiding Eyes for the Blind in 2015.

Since then, 24 dogs have completed the rigorous program and another 12 are halfway through.

Panek says he hopes his historic feat will spur others with disabilities to push the boundaries of what they believe they are capable of achieving. 

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