For years, Billy Quick ran alone asNorth Carolina'sonly Special Olympics marathoner. Now, he has company.
Monte Daniels is Quick's new running partner, teammateandcompetitor.
While Quick has the experience of nine marathons, including New York and the prestigious Boston Marathon, Daniels has youth and speed.
"I have him stick with me the whole race and then we give it all we've got at the end," says Quick.
No doubt about it, the partnership is working.
"Hey, if you can smile, you're running too slow," advises Quick.
Team USA Coach Paul Blake says this new relationship gives Daniels a chance to learn and Quick a chance to lead.
"I've encouraged him for years to be a teacher and role model, and he does that energetically," says Blake. "He loves to play that role, and that's what he's done with Monte. It's a lot of leading by example."
In a short practice race, the student beats the teacher, but Quick knows that winning is not just about who crosses the finish line first.
"It makes me feel good if I can help someone else because throughout my life, people have been helping me," says Quick.
Maybe the real victory is in the friendships you make on the way to the finish line.
Quick and Daniels each have a chance to win the gold medal at the World Games. Quick will run the full marathon and Daniels will run the half marathon.
The World Games take place June 26 through July 4 at locations across the Triangle. Watch for complete coverage on WRAL-TV, your official World Games television station.