Legally blind runner preparing for run at Paralympic gold - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Legally blind runner preparing for run at Paralympic gold

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Amy McDonaugh's trophy room is packed with proof that she's seen her fair share of marathons.

But she doesn't see them like most runners. Her eyes were damaged in a surgery when she was in junior high, blinding her in one eye and severely limiting the other.

"It's like looking through a paper towel roll with saran wrap on it, so it's blurry," said McDonaugh. 

But it hasn't put the brakes on her running career. She started 9 years ago and has since completed more than 100 races.

"I just loved it," said McDonaugh. "It felt like I was getting out there, doing something and clearing my head."

She usually competes with a guide who helps her navigate and keep her clear of other runners. Still, every run brings a bit of terror.

"I see a lot of shadows and colors," said McDonaugh. "So I don't know if that's an oil spill or a pothole. You get more used to it, but there's always an element of fear."

It's a fear she's planning to face again later this month when she goes to France to compete in the World Paralympic Championships in the 1,500 meter.

The event won't be easy. McDonaugh is used to marathons and their slower pace. She's also used to running on a road. Tracks, believe it or not, are much harder for her.

"I can see the white line but I'm not exactly sure where it is because it's blurry," said McDonaugh. "If I'm looking down at it, I can't see anything else because I have to look down."

She'll have a guide to help and is working with the group Team Utopia to prepare her for the faster speed.

She hopes her run will help inspire other visually impaired females to make a run at the Paralympics, which only offers long-distance events to men.

"If there are more people who are interested and want to do it, maybe they'll expand the events and maybe add a marathon," said McDonaugh.

She's been given a shot at another medal and another example of what can be done when fear isn't a factor.

"It's not the outside circumstances and stuff that can keep you from doing things, it's what's in your head and in your heart," said McDonaugh. "There's no excuse not to try your best and strive for excellence at whatever you're doing."

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • 'Hope and healing': Texas town worships after school attack

    'Hope and healing': Texas town worships after school attack

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:22 PM EDT2018-05-20 19:22:35 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>
  • Trump to demand DOJ review claims of FBI spy on campaign

    Trump to demand DOJ review claims of FBI spy on campaign

    Sunday, May 20 2018 2:11 PM EDT2018-05-20 18:11:29 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:21 PM EDT2018-05-20 19:21:32 GMT
    Trump referred to some who cross the border illegally as "animals," not people. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Trump referred to some who cross the border illegally as "animals," not people. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    President Donald Trump says he'll demand that the Justice Department review whether the department or the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and whether any demands or requests came...

    More >>

    President Donald Trump says he'll demand that the Justice Department review whether the department or the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and whether any demands or requests came from the Obama administration.

    More >>
  • Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 15:41:33 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:16 PM EDT2018-05-20 19:16:53 GMT
    (Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...(Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    More >>

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly