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Graeme McCreath said he's pleased with the ruling. (Graeme McCreath)

A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that a blind man was discriminated against by organizers of a popular 10K run in Victoria, after he was denied an early start time usually allowed for blind runners.

The Victoria International Running Society has been ordered to pay Graeme McCreath $590 in lost wages and $2,500 for damages to his dignity and self respect.

McCreath, a physiotherapist in Victoria and a seasoned runner, had asked race organizers to allow him a five-minute early start time for the 2011 Times Colonist 10K race.

The head start is intended to help blind runners avoid congestion and potentially dangerous jostling.

The Victoria International Running Society denied his request, citing "safety concerns" and "the lateness of the request."

Now, the society has been ordered to allow an early start time for blind runners and its board members must undergo anti-discrimination training.

McCreath says he's pleased with the ruling.

"It's a community event and it really should involve everybody," he said.

The Times Colonist 10K is an annual event usually held on the last Sunday in April in Victoria. This year's race is April 28, 2013.