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6 Year Old Sets Half Marathon World Record

Posted by: on October, 24 2013

Found on Competitor.com and written by

This Texas youngster ran a half marathon in under 3 hours.

Running is full of amazing stories and they come from all ages and ability levels. One of the latest ones comes from Abilene, Texas, where 6-year-old Keelan Glass set a goal to run a half marathon and raise money for a good cause. That part went great, but then a snowstorm changed her plans. Keelan and her family were driving to the Oct. 6 Run Crazy Horse half marathon in South Dakota when they heard it was canceled because of an early season snowstorm.

But as it turned out, Keelan blazed a trail anyway. At the Oct. 12 Showdown Half Marathon in Fairview, Texas, she finished in 2:46:31, setting what is believed to be an age-group world record for a 6-year-old. That’s 13.1 miles at a pace of 12:47 per mile.

As of now the AARS has ranked it as the top time for that age, though the next youngest age category for the half marathon is 9.

The next youngest runner in the race was 12. Keelan placed fifth in the 14-and-under category (fourth among girls), which included 10 total runners. Landen Bass, 13, was the overall winner of that age group, finishing in 2:07:42, while 14-year-old Kira La Sage was the girls’ age-group winner in 2:24:47.

Several people have question whether 6 years old is too young of an age to run a half marathon.

Keelan’s parents are avid runners and triathletes. According to news reports, they consulted with orthopedic friends before letting her run. They pushed her in a stroller while they trained when she was younger. But, apparently, she quickly got bored and rode a bike until her parents allowed her to start running alongside them. She was running 5Ks at age 4 and 10Ks by 5.

According to news reports, Keelan wanted to run a half marathon to raise money through a pro-life group for her local pregnancy resources center. She’s raised about $3,000 to date, according to reports.

So how does a 6-year-old go about running a half marathon? One mile at a time.

Keelan and her mom, Tracy, appeared on KTXS12 this week to tell their story.

“We lined up next to the pacers for the two-and-a-half hour mark and one of the pacers said, ‘How many of you here are running your first half marathon?’” Tracy told the TV station. “And Keelan raised her hand, and he said ‘You’re running?’ and she said ‘yeah.’ And he said ‘The whole thing?’ and she said, ‘Uh-huh.’

“We got to mile 6 and I said ‘How do you feel?’ and she said ‘Great. Let’s run to 8.’ And I said OK. We ran to 8 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.”

That schedule included stopping for some photo ops from mile 10 through 13 and a group of friendly llamas in a field nearby.