Indianapolis man in contest for magazine cover
Andrew Peterson, a Special Olympian from Indianapolis, is in a contest being held by Runner's World magazine. As of Friday, he was in fifth place among all entries, which would get him into the final round of selections.
Peterson says he started running in second grade as an alternative to detention.
"Because of my intellectual disability, I didn't understand game rules and played too rough. Rather than standing in detention, my father asked if I could walk laps around the playground," Peterson told the magazine. "Soon, I was running them."
Peterson ran his first 3K when he was nine years old and has been running ever since. He says he joined his middle school cross country team even after the coach said he couldn't because of his disability.
He earned four varsity letters in cross country in high school before setting his sights on the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.
"For two years, I trained six days per week and found top runners to push me to a higher level. They did just that," Peterson said.
He won three gold medals in distance running events at the USA Games.
The contest is open to runners who have an inspiring story to tell. Peterson's story is one of many featured on the contest website.
"Running has also allowed me to inspire hundreds of people on and off the track," Peterson said. "Last year, I started speaking to high school students about including others and accepting them."
Voting runs through August 15. The winner of the contest will be featured on the cover of the magazine's December 2014 issue.
Vote for Andrew here