By Blake Jackson Modified: April 28, 2008 at 12:57 am •  Published: April 28, 2008
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/> Leonard handed her sweetheart off to Matt Guidry, a 33-year-old landscaper who lives in Denver.

"Matt's wife (Jenna) was in the same running club as Kerry,” Leonard said. "She asked him to step up and help (Cook).”

Guidry had never run a marathon but happily accepted the challenge.

"Kerry's in such good shape,” Guidry said. "He had to put a lot of faith in me.”

On Sunday, Guidry and Cook set out from the starting line.

The guide ran in front, watching for potholes and people.

Checking Cook's blood sugar on a monitor every couple of minutes. He narrated for the man with "Blind Runner” printed in large, red block letters across his jersey.

"I tried to paint a picture for him,” Guidry said. "To distract him so he wouldn't get bored. Kerry's got a great sense of humor.”

Through Bricktown. Past the Capitol. Around Lake Hefner.

Guidry described it all for Cook.

And in just over 4 hours, 39 minutes, they crossed the finish to qualify for the 2009 Boston Marathon.

"These days, the diabetes is more of a challenge than the blindness,” Leonard said after the race.

"You just have to have a good guide and you're OK.”

Said Guidry: "This was really good for us. We've developed a friendship and felt a lot of the same things in training. I'm excited for him. He's pretty excited, too.”

Cook's sweetheart has the picture to prove it.




Blind runner Kerry Cook walks with his guide, Matt Guidry, after finishing the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on Sunday. BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN

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