OKLAHOMA CITY – You will find inspiration all along the course of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, including in Benny Meier.
Meier is running the half marathon and is also blind.
Recently, he wanted News 4 to honor Frances Williams, a Piedmont school teacher, with our Pay It 4Ward award.
Williams is Meier’s running guide – a winning combination for the Run to Remember.
“They discovered it when I was eleven years old, that I had a vision problem,” said Meier, describing retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative and progressive loss in vision. “I’m not completely blind. I can see light.”
“It was like opening my eyes all over again. I knew where the bumps are but I didn’t really know where the bumps are at all,” said Williams. “You just automatically go over them. And as I started to run with Benny, you know, I would have to watch for those things.”
Meier says he’s able to do it all thanks to faith and his guides.
“I run by faith and not by sight. There it is. It`s the faith that I put into my guides,” he said. “They’re the ones that are able to bring joy into my life of running.”
Williams says they use a guide rope while running together.
“People always tell us what an inspiration we are,” Williams said. “‘She’s guiding a blind person. He’s a blind person. He’s running the marathon. I need to step it up.'”
“I’ve even had people tell me that they saw me the marathon before, the next year they did it because they felt, ‘if he can do it, I can do it,'” said Meier.
Both Williams and Meier agree that the Run to Remember is about so much more than receiving a medal.
“Sometimes when it gets really tough, you know, you think about, ‘well, why am I even out here?'” Williams said. “Makes you realize that, you know, greater purpose in doing a marathon than getting a medal at the end of it.”
“It just means a lot that that tree survived so we can survive to do the marathon,” said Meier. “Somehow, you build up that courage or that attitude, ‘hey, I’m going to finish this thing.'”
The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is set for April 28.
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