Nearly a third of the runners in Sunday's race were running their first marathon. One of most excited first-timers at the race was Rachel Hastings, who cannot see where her next step will land. The 25-year-old from Maple Grove, Minn., has been legally blind from birth, able only to see shadows.
Throughout her life, Hastings said, she hasn't let her lack of sight keep her from doing anything her fully-sighted brothers could. By running the Twin Cities Marathon, she wants to "make her disability an ability."
During the race, she held a short rope with two knots in it. On the other end was her running partner, Mike Fuith. He's a two-time Ironman winner, running his tenth marathon. He calls Hastings an "outstanding runner."
"I just want to finish, and for Mike and I to have an awesome race," Hastings said. But really, she wants to go to Boston and compete in the marathon there. To make it into the visually impaired division, she would need to finish in less than five hours.