When it comes to the sport of running, few have the passion that former Anamosa High School two-time state champion track star Nic Weers possesses.
Weers wants to share that passion of not only running, but competing in everyday life with Anamosa’s youth, and for the last eight years he’s done exactly that as he and his wife Heather have been the leaders of the Running Raider Marathon Club.
“This marathon we got back to hosting the middle schoolers (fifth and sixth graders) in the fall,” said Weers, has the club completed their final mile Friday, Nov. 19, wrapping the marathon journey the members started months ago at the Anamosa Middle School.
“We were blown away when 53 signed up with 48 reaching the finish line. What continues to be very impressive is that since starting this club in 2014, we have kids that have run every marathon since kindergarten. These kids simply are confident in everything they do. They are mentally prepared and they are physically prepared to tackle whatever obstacle, challenge or task they face in life, sports or in school because while they know it might not be easy at first, if they keep going and work at it they’ll reach the finish line.”
The marathon finish line came on the very chilly Friday morning with Nic and Heather handing out trophies as a reward for each member completing their 26-mile journey, one mile at a time.
“All-in-all it was a very emotional year,” Weers said. “That sixth grade group are tremendous at pack running. That is the advantage of doing this since kindergarten and that is exactly the ‘team’ fundamental you have to have regardless of if the pack continues on in any sport, class or extra-curricular activity. It was very special to see.”
The fifth-graders also proved to be an impressive group.
“The fifth-graders are ready to roll,” Weers said. “Lots of running talent in that group and very, very competitive. I can’t wait to get them back next year. Nolan Weers (Nic and Heather’s youngest son) and Lauren Heying won’t be there next year (both are sixth graders and graduate the program) to lead the way and set the pace, so we are certainly excited to see who steps up and learn another lesson about being a leader and the role of a leader.”
The Weers’ also appreciate the effort it takes from the area parents to keep this club going strong.
“We receive a lot of thanks for putting on this program, and yes it does take a lot of extra time and planning, but it also wouldn’t happen without the community,” Heather Weers said. “The kids put their time and effort into getting up each morning to run. Parents have to reconstruct their schedules to get kids there. The schools let us use their facilities and we have community sponsors who keep the program going.
“There would be no Running Club without the community. Nic and I are just proud to be part of it.”