Aiden Jaquez is just 11 years old, but he’s already successfully run a half marathon — 50 times.
Aiden is the youngest person ever to run a half marathon in every single state. He finished accomplishing his goal on the 20th of October, when he completed the IMT Des Moines half marathon in Iowa.
The Montgomery, Illinoisan has been preparing for this moment for a long time. He ran his first half marathon at just six years old in Sarasota, Florida. Six!
He was inspired after watching his grandmother complete a race. He wanted a medal just like hers — and he’s since received plenty.
“I love running half marathons because not many kids in my age do it and it’s fun to run and just get a lot of energy out and run with my grandma,” Aiden told WOI.
Running a half-marathon may seem like hard work for anyone, especially such a young kid. But Aiden says he actually prefers the long distance.
“I find it easier to run long-distance for me, because if I run short-distance, I try to run too fast,” he explained.
Aiden and his grandma, Kathleen Taylor, set a goal to complete a half marathon in every state. Then Aiden realized that he could be the youngest ever to do so, making the journey even more exciting. Kathleen has been by his side every step of the way, and they crossed the finish line in Iowa together.
Kathleen couldn’t be more proud.
“He set this goal and he has completed it,” she said. “It’s been four and a half years, but he’s never once wavered or never asked to quit… He wanted to do it and he’s loved every minute of it.”
When I think back on when I was six years old…people are just incredible, you know?