A track program at R.E. Thompson Elementary School in Tuscumbia gave one student the foundation to grow his passion for running.
The concrete track glistens with possibilities in the summer sun and fourth grader Cody Collinsworth sees no limits.
“When I started last year I didn't think I would be doing this and I didn't think this would happen or anything,” said Collinsworth. “After that first race, I just fell in love with running.”
It's his quiet confidence that gives him that extra edge.
“Just keep it up and keep pushing,” said Collinsworth.
Just this year, Collinsworth ran five 10K races and 14 5K’s, plus hundreds of laps and even more practice runs. Out of 28 races, Collinsworth brought home the first place finish in more than half.
“My best time for a half marathon is 1 hour 59 minutes and 55 seconds. I was trying to beat two hours in my last half marathon and I barely beat it by 5 seconds,” said Collinsworth.
A half marathon is 13.1 miles.
Collinsworth spends hours each week pounding the pavement. He says he uses the time to think, relax and pray.
“When I talk to Him it just seems like He's talking right back to me and I'm just running and I just feel more safe after I pray,” said Collinsworth.
So far, Collinsworth has run 221 miles safely, and he says the finish line is nowhere in sight. He hopes to run more than 300 miles next year.
The track program awarded Collinsworth the overall athlete award two years in a row.
Besides running, Collinsworth is involved in several other sports, plus he’s a part of the gifted program. Collinsworth is also a triplet. His two sisters run too, but according to Collinsworth, “I'm always way ahead of them.”