Local/State

5-year-old to run Trenton half-marathon

Friday, November 08, 2013

Among the field of runners in the Trenton half-marathon this weekend is a 5-year-old boy from Jackson, New Jersey.

Anthony Russo is like most five year olds - he likes cartoons, video games and playing with his little brother.

One thing that sets this kindergartner apart is he likes to run - really run.

Saturday morning he's running the 13.1 mile Trenton Double Cross and he may be the youngest person ever to compete in a half marathon.

"I like running cause it's healthy for you and it makes you strong," said Anthony.

Anthony started running with his mom, a Trenton school teacher, after he decided last year he didn't want to play baseball.

"He was not gonna sit home and play video games and watch TV, it was only to be outside, like when we were kids. From there he just started running and going and going," said Nick Russo, father.

"He did a mile like it was nothing then he stepped it up went to two miles. Before you know it we're doing three, four, five. We joke around that he's like Forrest Gump, he's just running and he's going to take off one day and just keep going," said Olivia Russo, mother.

The Russos are being careful about this. Anthony sees a doctor regularly and the little guy is also getting advice on workouts and what a runner should be eating.

Is Anthony a little nervous about running the half marathon?

"Not really," he said.

Anthony plays an imaginary game with his mom as they run.

"Whoever's a biker we called them pirates. It just makes it fun," said Anthony.

Anthony is running 11 minute miles. He's out to beat a 6-year-old in Texas who completed a half marathon last month.

"I'm very happy that I'm doing the half marathon because after the half marathon I get a lot of toys," he said.

Anthony's dad offered a little incentive. Some runners want glory, some want the gold but Anthony is motivated by the idea of getting a new Superman.

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Tags:
new jersey news, trenton news, children, local/state, nora muchanic
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