Sports nonprofit helps young runners realize importance of physical fitness

Run SA Youth runners participate in series of 5K races

SAN ANTONIO – Getting kids out and running is the goal of Run SA Youth.

Coaches with the nonprofit organization hope the running will help get kids healthy.

The program kicked off over a year ago, and the kids are already getting ready to wrap up their summer 5K series.

The young runners have participated in three 5K races and are gearing up for their last 5K at the end of the month.

"It feels great," said Garrad Davila, a runner. "Running all the way from the end to the park and back."

Run SA Youth has been holding practices during the week to help kids train.

"They're doing the exercises," Run SA Youth head coach Erik Burciaga said. "They're doing the drills. They're doing the strength training and they're doing the sprints."

Run SA Youth aims to give children ages 5 to 12 access to safe, supervised run workouts in hopes of encouraging physical activity and wellness. 

Burciaga is not only the head coach, he was the winner of last year's San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. 

"It was a phenomenal experience to be able to come through the finish line in first after 26 miles," Burciaga said. "If I would not have had the support of the people of San Antonio cheering me on. You know, 'Keep it going Eric!' But I was really fortunate to cross the finish line, and it's kind of a lesson for kids. You can really do anything you want if you continue to run, if you continue to be consistent."

During the hot summer months, coaches work to make sure the kids stay hydrated. Run SA Youth provides plenty of water and nutrition as well as running shoes.

"The kids that come through our program, we want them to continuously be running," Burciaga said. "So we try to give them the tools to be a runner, and (a pair of) shoes is one of the most important ones."

Run SA Youth will host its last 5K of the season at 8 a.m. on July 29 at Mission County Park.

To register for the 5K, click here.

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