Chris Paynter and Julie Moore crossed the finish line Sunday, marking a personal best in the duo's third half-marathon together.
Paynter, 37, is a Special Olympics athlete, and Moore a 25-year volunteer with the organization. They met 15 years ago and “have been friends ever since,” Moore said.
“About three years ago, Chris asked me to train with him,” Moore said. “I'm not a runner, but I knew if he could do it, I could do it, too.
“He asked, I said yes and I couldn't disappoint him.”
The two have also run together in other races, including the Redbud Classic.
Paynter has won several weightlifting gold medals and is an “amazing athlete,” Moore said, adding that he is her inspiration.
When asked how it felt to cross the finish line, Paynter thought for several seconds before answering, “Perfect.”
He paused again.