Keelan Glass is amazing. That's as appropriate a word as any to describe a six-year-old girl who just completed her first half-marathon.
KTXS 12's Braid Blanks spoke with Keelan and her mother, Tracy, after the little girl's remarkable run at The Showdown Half Marathon in Dallas, where she completed 13.1 miles in two hours, 46 minutes and 31 seconds.
According to the report, the two were hoping to run a race in South Dakota, but weather dashed those plans. When someone suggested the Dallas run, Tracy decided it sounded like a fantastic alternative.
From there, it was all about keeping pace with her motivated daughter and checking in to make sure the strain wasn't too much for her young legs.
We got to mile six and I said ‘How do you feel?’ and she said ‘Great. Let's run to eight.’ And I said ok. We ran to eight and when we got there, I said ‘How are you feeling?’ and she said ‘Great, we can go to mile 10.’ So we just kept going at her pace and on her time schedule.
And so they ran, working their way toward the end of a sizable jaunt and, as it was, history.
Thanks goes to For The Win's Chris Chase, who pointed out we can congratulate Keelan on being the youngest person to complete a half-marathon, according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians.
Tracy spoke to just that, offering, "According to their single-age records, there is no one recorded under the age of nine for a half-marathon, so it looks like as long as she meets the criteria for it, she has a record now."
Keelan also has aims for bigger and better endeavors. According to Chase, she would like to run a marathon by the time she's 10. Considering her recent accomplishment, I am hardly inclined to doubt her.
As for why the little girl decided to run a half-marathon, Blanks reported that it's all to benefit Pregnancy Resources of Abilene. Keelan's mother had this to say:
I love the fact that she does it for a bigger reason. It's fun for her and it's about running but she wanted to use her skills for something different and people saw that. They were asking her about her shirt and the announcer told her whole story. I don’t think she realizes what a big impact she has on people.
The Dallas Morning News' Debbie Fetterman had more, including varying reaction to the daunting run accomplished by the young girl.
As Fetterman noted, Glass' parents consulted with orthopedic "friends" prior to the half-marathon. Still, the feat did have some proclaiming caution over adulation.
Fetterman cited William Moore, who is a pediatrician as well as an endurance athlete. He stated, "I think they’re asking for trouble. There’s a lot of potential for bad things and not a lot of potential for exceptionally good things to happen."
The obvious concerns of rampant punishment that a 13-mile trek might have on young joints were noted.
Race announcer Cliff Couch saw it differently.
It may be as extraordinary an accomplishment as I have seen in all my years of running and announcing. It was made even more dramatic by her doing it so effortlessly. She seemed to be barely even breathing hard at the finish line.
Regardless of the reaction, there is no question as to the spirit and motivation of a young girl who is already checking off ambitious goals on her list of life accomplishments.
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