Royce and Will are 5th graders at Lake Hills Elementary. Both are competitive boys who embrace The 100 Mile Club® for all it is worth. Though we ask kids to focus on PERSONAL goals vs. competing with others, there is never anything wrong with healthy competition… especially with these two!
Both boys wanted to be the one with the most miles in the school, but it seemed that Royce was bound and determined to make his 100 first and FAST! Royce reached his 100th mile before Holiday Break…there seemed to be no stopping him. He was on his way to being top dog in his class!
Shortly after this (and quite unexpectedly), Royce was diagnosed with an invasive form of cancer and immediately began undergoing highly aggressive treatments. He missed a lot of school, but whenever he was there, he would rack up mile after mile, never complaining about his treatments, hospital stays, or pain. It was his running that made him feel happy. whole. alive. It’s what made him feel like everything was going to be ok.
Royce’s friend Will noticed that his own mile totals were growing, inching closer and closer to Royce’s. Soon HE would be the one with the most miles in the school…not Royce.
Will should have been thrilled! He wasn’t thrilled at all.
Will told his mom one day, “You know mom, if Royce wasn’t sick, he’d be kicking my b – – – at 100 Mile Club.”
That’s when Will made an incredible decision.
No matter what happened, Will decided that he would not pass Royce in miles. No matter what, Royce would remain the leader…even if Will had to help him do it.
Will didn’t stop running to allow Royce to stay ahead of him…instead, he made the decision to run for him.
You see, Royce and Will had both made their 100 miles and were set to earn gold medals at the end of the year. The rest of these miles were just gravy. When Royce and Will ran together, it was ON. Both did their best and got as many miles as they could.
But, when Royce was absent, in the hospital, undergoing treatments, or unable to run, Royce would share his miles…donating enough of what he had run that day to keep Royce just ahead of him.
Royce donated a portion of his miles every day until the very last day of running. When all was said and done, will finished with 186.55 miles. And Royce finished with 187.45 miles.
People ask why kids should participate in 100 Mile Club®. Well, aside from the health benefits of running and walking daily, all of the healthy bodies, healthy minds stuff, aside from all of that, our kids learn about themselves and what they are truly capable of when they are on this journey together.
Together our kids learn about…
And love. Always love.
Thank you to Will and Royce for showing us what 100 Mile Club® is all about.