INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For most, Monday is the start of the work week. But for runners, this Monday is one of the world’s most prestigious races: the Boston Marathon.
There are only a handful of Special Olympians who qualified, and one of them is from central Indiana.
26-year-old Andrew Peterson is proving determination is stronger than any disability. Andrew was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but he refuses to let it slow him down.
“It reinforces that a person with a disability, given the right supports, encouragement, can do things we never imagined possible,” said Craig Peterson, Andrew’s father.
He even took his running overseas at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, and he brought home a gold and silver medal.
He started running when he was 8 years old, and he hasn’t stopped. Andrew’s father has seen the transformation.
“I think for Andrew it gave him purpose. It gave him success, and that success brought self-confidence, which made him feel better about himself,” said Craig.
Andrew had qualifying times in last year’s Carmel Marathon and in the 2017 Indy Monumental Marathon. Andrew’s average mile is under seven minutes. This will be his 10th marathon and his first time crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon.
“A lot of people want to be there, and they never make it. So we are really going to celebrate the fact that he’s there,” said Craig.
This athlete is taking on another 26.2 miles, and he’s already focused on getting faster.
“Hopefully, down the road I can keep getting better at it,” said Andrew.
Andrew knows his time down to the second, but there’s no way of tracking the number of people he's inspired.
Andrew and his dad head out to Boston tomorrow, so they’ll have plenty of time to take in the entire experience. His goal is to run the race in under three hours.