GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Runners have been gearing up for the big race this weekend. The Fifth Third River Bank Run is on Saturday, May 9. One young runner, 8-year-old Clara James-Heer, will be among those running the 5K and has overcome huge obstacles to get there.
Clara was seven years old when she fell off the bars at school and broke her back in two places. The very next summer, she participated in her very first USA Triathlon Youth National Championships and placed first in the 8-year-old girls’ division.
Since then, Clara placed first in her age group at the AAU Cross Country National Championships, appeared in Sports Illustrated Kids Magazine as a SportsKid of the Month, and set a new world record in the 5K for 8-year-old girls at the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5K in April.
Clara hopes to motivate other youth athletes who get injured or have other setbacks to stay positive and always keep striving toward their goals.