Alex Welborn loves to run.
Even though he is just 10, Alex has competed in more than a dozen races, often running against teenagers. Last month, he ran against seventh- and eighth-graders in a 3200 meter rase at the Disney Cross Country Challenge in Orlando, Fla.
The fifth-grader at Chisholm Trail Intermediate School began running a a few years ago after watching his older brother Aaron compete in cross country and track.
“I want to be just like my brother,” Alex said. “He’s a really fast runner.”
Brother Aaron Welborn, who graduated in June from Fossil Ridge High School and is now a freshman at the University of North Texas, said Alex started running by following him around the track during workouts.
At first, he could run just one lap, but he gradually built up his stamina.
Alex started running races after his teacher at Heritage Elementary School challenged him to do the Run in the Dark, and Alex beat his teacher.
Now when he finishes races, he will go back and find another young runner and help him finish.
“Alex is dyslexic, and this has given him some confidence that he could do something that not everyone could do,” said Dad Clark Welborn.
Alex runs 20 to 30 miles a week with one run being speed work on the track at nearby Fossil Ridge. His longest runs are six to seven miles.
“I like the fact that he’s found a sport he enjoys, and I like the fact that it keeps him in shape,” Clark Welborn said.
In the last few months, Alex has gotten faster than his dad.
“I like competing and trying my hardest in all the races I go to,” Alex said.
Now he is working on lowering his times and hopes to be the top runner at Fossil Ridge someday, like his brother but even faster.
Aaron Welborn is happy his brother is following in his footsteps.
“I think it’s great. I always feel like you can never start out too young with a passion,” Aaron Welborn said. “For him to have a passion for something I really like and being so full of enthusiasm and wanting to be faster, it’s wonderful.”