CARMEL, Ind. – Hundreds of runners will take part in the Carmel Marathon. Some runners are doing the race to check it off their bucket list. Other runners are crossing the finish line to grab that medal waiting for them. There’s a duo that has a special reason behind their race.
Jesse Davis and Kiara Lee will take on the 13.1 miles together. Kiara is 18-years-old and has cerebral palsy.
“He really fast,” explains Kiara Lee,
Races are nothing new for Jesse. He’s done 23 marathons. He’s won the Carmel Marathon five times and currently holds the course record. This race is the first time he won’t only be running, he’ll be pushing too. Kiara is in a wheelchair.
“I think this is going to be a totally unique experience. I think I’m really going to treasure it,” explains Jesse Davis, a marathon.
Kiara and Jesse were matched through the Joseph Maley Foundation, a group based in central Indiana that helps empower kids with disabilities.
“It means a lot because somebody is really taking the time out of their day to want to spend time doing something that she’d probably never otherwise do,” explains Yolanda Ward-Lee, Kiara’s mother.
Kiara is the captain and Jesse is her crew. The two have a done a 10-miler together as a practice run.
“I kept asking her actually if she was tired, kind of the joke and she was like ‘no I’m good,’ well I’m getting a little tired,” jokes Davis.
Pacing isn’t the goal for Jesse, it’s more personal.
My brother was born with a disability and he passed away when I was 18. When I’m pushing Kiara, it makes me think of my brother like he’s out there with me. It’s going to mean a lot to me to do this,” explains Davis.
A marathoner and a teenager are proving sometimes a little push is all you need to prove that you’re unstoppable.
“She’s no different than anybody else. What other people can do, she can do too,” explains Ward-Lee.
Kiara and Jesse are one of 11 wheelchair teams that are participating in this year’s Carmel Marathon.