17-year-old runner Annie Donnell may be blind, but that doesn’t stop her from tearing up the track with a little help from her good friend Allison Moehrle. Here at Janji, we’re all about running for another—Allison literally embodies that sentiment. Ever since the two started running track together in their freshman year of high school, they have run nearly every race together. Allison acts as Annie’s guide around the track during both practices and races. They are connected at the arm by a rubber tether, which Allison uses to lead Annie around the turns and down straight-aways.
Annie and Allison met in their sixth grade science class and have been good friends ever since. When Annie decided to join track their freshman year she asked Allison to help her out. Together, the girls race the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes. One could say that they are the ultimate running partners.
(Photo courtesy of MileSplit MO) “I’ve done races on my own, but I actually prefer to run with Annie. We work really well together.” Said Allison, “It’s great, everyone has been really supportive of us, especially our coaches.”
Annie said that one of her main reasons for doing track was that she really wanted to do at least one high school sport. “My math teacher freshman year was one of the distance coaches and I really liked her so I asked Allison to join with me."
Annie says that her main advice for other runners with disabilities would be to get more involved with their school and community, “I hope other runners who are visually impaired or have any other disabilities will want to get more in to their community and do things with the school. I’ve been really lucky having everyone to support me. It’s been great to get so close with the track team, especially this year. If you really want to do something, then you can!”
On top of a full track schedule, Annie is also a member of the St. Louis Children’s Choir and has a 4.0 GPA. Annie and Allison are truly an inspirational duo. You can read up on more of their amazing story here -