Hudson boy sets 5K world record - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hudson boy sets 5K world record

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If you blink, you might miss Jaden Merrick going by.

"I don't even try to keep up with him anymore," said Brent Merrick, his father.

The 6-year-old Hudson boy started running when he was five.

"Actually, to be honest with you, he started running before me," his mother Sabina said. "He would not take no for an answer, like, 'you have to go, you have to go.'"

In April, he set a world record 5K time in his age group, just over 25 minutes. Then, a few weeks later at Irish Fest, he blew that away with a 24:07.

Then, at the Park to Park race in September --

"I ran a 22:26, set another world record by like two-and-a-half minutes," said Jaden. "It was all good."

"We're very proud," Brent said. "We always tell him to do the best he can. If a record happens, it does. If it doesn't, don't worry about it, there's another day."

With health a concern for many young runners, Jaden's parents have taken him to specialists to check his gait and development.

"We're told to let him run as far and as fast as he wants to go," Brent said.

The family runs most of their races together.

"I can never see him finish because I'm way behind," Sabina said.

He's had a little help though.

"We used to all run with Jaden, but recently, none of us can keep up with him," said Scott Gall, owner of The Runner's Flat in Cedar Falls.

The Merricks run with a group there several times a week.

"What you find is Jaden's showing up and hanging out with people of all different ages, and everyone is able to communicate because you have a common thread of being healthy and running and stuff like that," Gall said.

"Jaden will run for miles with us and trash talk me and it's a blast," said Gary Jones of Cedar Falls. "It's fun, because he loves doing it."

But what can you learn from Jaden's incredible pace?

"As adults, we forget running should be playful, and that's brought a lot of it back," Jones said. "Watching Jaden run backwards as we're all huffing and puffing..."

Or more to the point--

"It was fun!" Jaden said.

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