Although more than 38,000 runners are expected to compete in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on Sunday, May 6, Allie Hauer will be easy to spot.
She’ll be one of the youngest runners in the 10-mile race, having turned 10 on Sunday, April 29.
She’ll also be wearing a pink T-shirt that says “Go Allie” on the front, and “10 Miles for her 10th Birthday” on the back. Plus, she’s only 4 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs less than 60 pounds.
So how did a pint-sized fourth-grader at Erial Elementary School end up registered for the country’s largest 10-mile run?
The answer is simple: For Allie, running is a chance to bond with her mother.
“I like doing the races for fun, and me and my mommy get time to talk about things without anybody disturbing us,” she said this week.
Allie’s mother, Erika, said her daughter started running with her last year. They ran side-by-side in the annual Run Gloucester Township 5K last year.
“Ever since then, she’s been asking to do longer races,” said Erika Hauer, 36, a registered nurse.
In November, Allie and her mom ran the Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10K, a race over the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Afterward, Allie told her mother, “ ‘Oh, that was easy. I want to do Broad Street,’ ” Erika Hauer recalled.
Earlier this month, mother and daughter ran in this year’s Gloucester Township 5K.
Allie finished in 25 minutes, winning first place in the 12-and-under age division, her mother said.
“She was inside eating a bagel by the time I finished,” Erika Hauer recalled with a laugh.
Allie lives in the township’s Sicklerville section with her parents and her two younger sisters.
Erika Hauer said that in light of the nation’s obesity epidemic among young people, she hopes her daughter will inspire others to lace up their sneakers and get moving.
“I think it’s a great example of setting your mind to do something, and going out and doing it,” she said. “Ten miles is a pretty lofty goal for a 10-year-old.”
Allie and her mom have been training hard for Broad Street, which they’ll run together.
“We started out running five miles, and we kept working our way up, to eight miles,” Allie said.
“I just want to finish the race,” she said. “My mom said if I do good in the Broad Street Run, afterward I can do a half marathon.”