Blindness no barrier for Pascoe

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 15:13 12/11/2012
Andrew Moreton and Hannah Pascoe
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
RUNNING PARTNERS: Westpac bank manager Andrew Moreton and Hannah Pascoe, who lost her sight two years ago, at the 2012 Southland Marathon.

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Invercargill woman Hannah Pascoe hasn't let blindness stop her from completing her first half marathon.

She relied on the eyes of fellow runner Andrew Moreton, who was tied wrist-to-wrist to Ms Pascoe as they crossed the finish line at the Southland Marathon yesterday.

Ms Pascoe, 28, who has congenital glaucoma, was born partially blind and lost her sight completely two years ago.

While she had been introduced to running in 2007 by her brothers, she found setting a new goal and getting into training gave her the resilience she needed to come to grips with the complete degeneration of her sight.

She had set small goals in the beginning, running on a treadmill at the gym, first 2km, then 5km.

It began with just wanting to get fit, she said, but the sport had since become an important part of her life.

While her seeing-eye dog Cora kept Ms Pascoe fit with her fast walking pace, it would have been too uncomfortable to run and hold the dog's harness.

Ms Pascoe said the drizzly and cool weather was perfect for her; Mr Moreton - a Westpac bank manager who had connected with her through the Halberg Trust - was an ideal running companion.

The pair were in high spirits when they finished.

"A lot of it was just telling me what was happening with the traffic," Ms Pascoe said.

"Andrew was awesome. Very patient and explained where he was going and what was next very well."

She said she had a dream of running the New York Marathon one day - but that was a far-off goal.

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- The Southland Times

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