2015-08-06 / Sports

Enthusiastic 12-year-old inspires by finishing 15K

By Al Willman Of The Enterprise staff


AMANDA HERMAN, 12, ran and finished a 15K last month in Traverse City. AMANDA HERMAN, 12, ran and finished a 15K last month in Traverse City. For a 12-year old, running a 5K would probably be tiring. A 10K would definitely be tiring. But what about a 15K, which is nearly 10 miles.

Amanda Herman, 12, the daughter of Glen Lake baseball coach Kris Herman, ran — and finished — the 15K portion of the National Cherry Festival Festival of Races in Traverse City on July 11, in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 42 seconds.

“It was pretty challenging with the big hill they had at the end of the race,” Herman said.

By the way, she was one of only three girls in the under-13 age group, and the youngest competitor in the race.

In fact, there were only a small handful of runners — male or female — under the age of 19 in the field of nearly 300.

The heat was a factor. When the race began at just after 8 a.m., it was 66 degrees. When Herman finished, it was 79 degrees.


AMANDA HERMAN was the youngest competitor in the race, and was one of only three girls under the age of 19 who ran. AMANDA HERMAN was the youngest competitor in the race, and was one of only three girls under the age of 19 who ran. “It wore me and my running partner out,” she said. “My parents were worried that I was going to get sick.”

Herman’s mother, Becky Herman, said her daughter originally planned to run the 5K. After some training, that plan changed — and the distance doubled. Finally, the family’s neighbor and friend Carol Brinks, asked for a running partner in the 15K.

Becky said Herman was — quite enthusiastically — the first to volunteer.

The pair started training in June and prepared until the week leading up to the race.

“We took the week of the race off,” Herman said. “We wanted to make sure we were prepared.”

Becky said she cautioned her daughter before the race began.

“I told her ‘If you need to stop and walk any part of the race, walk,’” Becky said. “She ran the whole thing. It blows my mind what she’s done.”

Brinks finished about two mintues after Herman.

Not only did Herman run all 9.3 miles, but she finished strong.

“It was unbelieveable,” Becky said. “When she crossed the finish line, she was smiling.”

Herman said she likes running, for a few different reasons.

“It helps me with soccer and softball,” she said. “It also gives me something to do, When I’m bored, I like to go run.”

Herman said her parents were both very supportive.

“I was extremely impressed,” Becky said.

So, too, were Herman’s friends.

“I talked to my friends, and the softball team,” she said. “They were all really happy for me.”

Herman said she was going to prod her classmates to run at the Festival of Races next year.

“I’m going to encourage them to do this for fun,” she said. “It’s a really fun thing to do.”

Herman said she’d be running the 15K again next year, and had higher expectations of herself.

“I was not very happy with my time,” she said.

While Herman may have been unhappy with her time, Becky had nothing but praise for her daughter.

“She’s an inspiration,” Becky said.

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