Crazy Running took home first place in two events at the 2018 Beat the Heat. When Crazy Running co-founder, Donnie Cowart, won the State Title for the 5K the locals were happy but not surprised. Donnie is inspiring young runners through his program and example. Crazy Running is accomplishing its goal to “positively impact the health and future of young athletes through running.”
My son Clay has been in Crazy Running since he was 5. Clay looks up to Donnie. So watching him win the state title was special for my young athlete. Watching fast runners at Beat the Heat also makes Clay hungry to run fast. The 2018 running of Beat the Heat will always be special for me as a dad.
Clay displayed great heart and drive on that hot evening during the 1-mile race. He charged out to an aggressive lead from the gun, leaving me nervous about whether he could hold the effort. I was praying that he would not fade. He had the lead at the halfway point but lost ground in the second half of the race. In the final 400 meters, an older boy almost reached his shoulder, which was all the convincing Clay needed to find another gear. At that time he also realized the finish line was within reach. Clay summoned all his energy to cross the line in first place.
Robert Hill’s amazing photography skill caught a shot of Clay throwing himself into every stride at the finish. The image of this 9-year-old’s effort is enough to melt a heart of stone. It makes me so proud to be part of such a running community that celebrates all that is good about running. As a family, we are members of the Twin City Track Club. We also race in Faithful Feet singlets. The singlets showcase verses of scripture like, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” (Psalm 119:32)
I pray you also know the joy of running and being part of an encouraging community. Winston-Salem is blessed to have such a vibrant running community that celebrates runners of all ages and abilities. Thanks for being part of it by reading this article.