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West Virginia woman who is blind runs 5K race, ranks in her age group: ‘This is just the beginning’

Meet Keryl Rustin — a 74-year-old woman who is blind and who just competed in her second National Senior Games 5K run. 

The resident of Kearneysville, West Virginia, also ran the 2022 5K unassisted and unnoticed — but this year, things were different.

On the rainy morning of July 9, Rustin ran the annual 5K for the second time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — this time with a local running guide. 

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“She was the one who would go out with me early in the morning … if there wasn’t any school. And she would run with me and give me cues,” she said in comments shared with Fox News Digital by the National Senior Games.

“She would run with me and give me cues.”

She ran her first National Senior Games 5K in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2022. 

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Rustin had planned on using a direction app to help guide her through the route, but the app malfunctioned before the race — leaving her no choice but to run it completely by herself.

This year, however, Rustin came back better prepared with a local Pittsburgh runner named Kenneth Lee. 

“I’m definitely not stopping … This is just the beginning.”

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Lee, who had never guided a visually impaired person before, said Rustin ran like a champion. 

“She’s got good balance … She knows how to listen and guide herself in a way,” he said. 

Rustin even sped up and crossed the finish line before Lee — with the runner noting he was a “very conscientious and caring” person. 

When asked if Rustin would be continuing her running career, she instantly responded, “Yes.”

“I’m definitely not stopping … This is just the beginning,” she said. 

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