OKLAHOMA CITY - 76-year-old Benny Meier is a long-distance runner in OKC, but probably not like many you have met before.
Benny is blind, but it doesn’t keep Benny from competing in the Oklahoma City National Memorial Marathon.
That’s because Benny has a secret weapon. Her name is Frances Williams.
When Benny runs, Frances is his guide.
Frances uses her eyes and Benny provides the inspiration for this dynamic running duo.
"She's been a person who has been my guide, my right-hand person,” Benny says. “I just really appreciate what she's done for me to take her time to guide a blind person for all these many years."
Benny began losing his vision at age 11 and so many things have changed for him since then.
Simple things like different shades of colors.
When they run together, he has questions.
“Sometimes I ask Frances what is fuchsia? Or what is bone color or what is plum red,” Benny told us. “There are just so many colors I never saw when I was young.”
For what Frances has done for him as a running partner and friend, Benny nominated her for Pay It Forward. Frances is an art teacher at Piedmont Middle School and when we surprised her there with the 400 dollar cash reward, provided by Nova Kay of First Fidelity Bank.
Frances teared up in a smile and said in an emotional jest, “Benny what have you done?!
Benny told Frances, “I just really appreciate the time you've taken to guide this old blind guy for many years."
After a hug Frances told Benny, “You've been a best friend and we've been running together for 16 years and I hope we have another 16."
It doesn't matter where they finish in the Memorial half-marathon later this month, because in the event called friendship, Benny Meier and Frances Williams are both Gold Medal winners.
Pay it 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.