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Abilene girl, 6, world record holder after running half marathon

By Braid Blanks, bblanks@ktxs.com
Published On: Oct 17 2013 08:44:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 18 2013 12:54:48 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

A few weeks ago we told you about a little girl with big ambitions.

Six-year-old Keelan Glass decided to run a half marathon to raise money through a pro-life group for her local pregnancy resources center. She was all set for her race in South Dakota when a massive snow storm changed their plans.

But as it turned out, she blazed a trail anyway.

"We took off school, we drove all day and we knew the storm was coming through but didn't know it would be that significant of a storm,” said Tracy Glass, Keelan’s mother.

But it was. The race Keelan had been looking forward to was canceled after several feet of snow covered the course that she would have taken on her first ever half marathon. It was hard to take in, but they decided even a blizzard wouldn't keep them down. They started the search for another half marathon.

“A friend of ours recommended The Showdown Half in Dallas and there was no age restriction. It was the following weekend, so we decided once we got home, we'd make another road trip out there and you'd go run that race, huh?” Tracy asked Keelan.

And that's exactly what she did.

“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?’ 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.'”

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

“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,” Tracy said.

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

Even with the stops Keelan finished in two hours, 46 minutes, and 31 seconds. But here’s what's even more amazing:

“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,” Tracy said.

Tracy said he daughter has a world record now and doesn’t even know what it means.

“That's the thing,” Tracy said. “She doesn't really even understand how amazing it is.”

No she doesn't. Keelan said what's more important to her is why she did the race in the first place: to raise money for Pregnancy Resources of Abilene. To date she’s raised $2,855.

“I love the fact that she does it for a bigger reason,” Tracy said. “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.”