Teenage runner takes 2nd place in Hawaii

competitive spirit

Simon Kearns (far left) placed second in his age group at the Xterra Trail Run World Championship half marathon held in Hawaii at the end of November. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo

Simon Kearns (far left) placed second in his age group at the Xterra Trail Run World Championship half marathon held in Hawaii at the end of November.

Simon Kearns took second in the half-marathon in his age group at the Xterra Trail Run Championship in Hawaii over Thanksgiving weekend.

Kearns, 13, got hooked on running last fall after he won his first race, on a mile-and-half course.

"If I hadn't won and gotten like a top place, it might have been different," he said.

Kearns ran the half-marathon in Hawaii in 1 hour, 57 minutes. His best time for the event is 1 hour, 34 minutes.

He said the race was muddy, hot and humid but not nearly as challenging as the Leadville Heavy Half that he ran at the end of June. The course of the Colorado half-marathon is above 10,000 feet.

His father, Todd Kearns, and mentor Brady Archer noted his incredibly competitive spirit.

"He is one of the most competitive people I've known in my whole life," Todd Kearns said.

In addition to half-marathons, he also runs track and cross-country. Last track season, he won every mile race except for one.

Archer, who was Kearns' sixth-grade teacher and now his running mentor said that he is still a very young runner and has a good attitude about dabbling in different kinds of races.

"Everytime he does get beat he uses that as another opportunity to learn something about the sport," Archer said.

Archer also noticed Kearns great team spirit.

"He cared about how his teammates were doing too and wanted them to do well and that's not always something that happens with really great runners," he said.

This kind of leadership from the top runners can motivate the whole team, he said.

When he is not competing for school Kearns enjoys running in different parts of the country and will find plan races around his family's vacations.

He said he may not continue to run cross country into college but instead pursue much longer distances. He is currently planning on competing in a 40 mile race in Telluride in August.