INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It's down to the wire as walkers and runners get ready for Saturday's One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon. Among the 35,000 participants is a student and teacher who are going the 13.1 mile distance together, because one can't run without the other.
Ben Davis student teacher and assistant track coach Jeff Powers stands on the high school track.
"I met Jonathan at the beginning of school last year. And we worked together. And we kind of connected on a lot of different things," Powers says.
The student he's been mentoring for nearly two years, Jonathan Raymond, a junior, is there too.
"I'm just a regular teenager, so sometimes that focus gets out of focus," Raymond says.
He and Powers are running the Mini Marathon together. Powers will be pushing the specially built wheelchair that Raymond, who has Cerebral Palsy, will be riding in.
"I've always enjoyed running. And I wanted to do something together that we could both enjoy and I know he'd never done the Mini before. That's a great experience," says Powers.
Powers also wanted to raise money to buy Raymond a laptop, making it easier for him to work on his own. Running the Mini was one of the incentives for donations.
"We've already got the laptop, and that's what he needs, so the remainder of the money will go to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Greater Indianapolis," Powers says.
The teacher and student have become good friends.
"I don't think it will be that tough, because I'll be sitting back here all nice and cozy, so I don't think it will be that tough," Raymond says, while sitting in his chair.
"Ehhh, I might find a little pothole or something then," Powers says.
"I'll give him some support every once in awhile. Some, 'get it going Powers, move faster Powers.' You know, run Forest run. That kind of stuff," says Raymond with a smile.
Jeff says he plans on finishing in less than two hours. Jonathan bet it will take more like two and a half.
"I have to give him my Pop Tart on Monday if I lose," says Raymond.
But of course neither is a loser, no matter how long it takes to finish.
"Yep, I'm very excited for it," says Raymond.
At the end of the school year Jeff is finished with his student teaching and will likely move on to a full time job. Jonathan still has another year at Ben Davis.
The two, however plan to keep in touch. Because that's what friends do. Jeff Powers is a long time runner. He finished 4th in the Mini out of more than 30,000 participants back in 2009.
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