Kade Lovell never dreamed he would win the St. Francis Franny Flyer 10K run – heck, the 9-year-old didn’t even know he was running it until he was about halfway through the race.
The St. Cloud, Minnesota, fourth-grader was supposed to be running September 21 in the 5K (3.1-mile) race, but a volunteer told him to go the wrong way and he wound up on the longer course.
“I was a little confused, but I was like, ‘OK, I’m just going to listen to her. I’m just going to listen,’” he told CNN. He only realized what had happened when he saw a 10K (6.2-mile) sign at the turnaround area and noticed that the runners around him were all adults.
“I said in my mind, ‘I’m just going to keep running. I want to get to the finish line,’” he said.
His mom had been waiting for him to finish the shorter race and was getting more and more worried as the minutes passed.
“He should be here by now,” Heather Lovell recalled thinking. “This is weird. Maybe he’s having a really bad race.”
Kade’s pretty fast (he set a 5K record for his age group at last year’s race), so his mom was surprised to see slower runners crossing the finish line before him.
“I know he should be in front of these people, or at least with them, if anything, and he wasn’t there,” she said.
Lovell asked her mom to drive the route to