Blind Louisville man places second in Boston Marathon vision impairment division – WLKY Louisville

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A Louisville man is celebrating his hard work and determination.
Joseph Burket, who is blind, placed second in the vision impairment division in the para athletics division of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
The races took off in a rolling start after 8 a.m., a first for the iconic race. When all was said and done, Burket finished with a time of 3:18:23.
His wife, Laura Burket, sent WLKY photos of her husband during and after the marathon. One of the photos shows him celebrating with their baby.
Burket, of course, is all smiles after his feat.
Laura Burket tells WLKY that her husband lost his vision suddenly and unexpectedly at 30 due to Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, an inherited form of vision loss.
Before he became blind, Joseph Burket was a cross country runner at Trinity High School and played baseball for Trinity and Bellarmine.
His wife said that this was Joseph Burket’s first Boston Marathon. He was qualified to run in 2018 but wasn’t able to attend due to the birth of his first child. Then this year, the couple welcomed another son but decided Burket couldn’t miss the race again.
“Joe kept up a dedicated training schedule, even with a newborn in the house, with the support of a local group of runners,” Laura Burket said. “They helped him navigate long runs through the streets of Louisville, despite being legally blind.”
The couple said their 3-year-old and 7-month-old traveled to Boston with them.
Laura Burket said there was a slight hiccup with the family getting to Boston. She tells WLKY that their flight to Boston was canceled before boarding Sunday. Initially, they were told they weren’t going to be able to get Joseph there before Tuesday.
“We scrambled to get Joe on a flight with another airline that would get him here on time, and then the kids and I flew up the next day,” she said.
That wasn’t the only hiccup. Laura Burket said one of Joseph’s guides who he runs with broke his toe the weekend before the race. She said as they were trying to figure out her husband’s flight situation, they were also trying to find him another guide.
Fortunately, Laura Burket said they were able to find a guide for her husband just in time.
This year’s Boston Marathon was also special because it was the inaugural para athletic division at any world major marathon, Laura Burket said.
Check out the photos and videos above from Joseph Burket’s race day.
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